Institute for Social Innovation and Impact

Organisation profile

Organisation profile


The Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at the University of Northampton evaluates and measures the social impact of social innovations in the UK and around the world, as well as exploring the financing of, and policy support for, social innovation. The ISII defines social impact as ‘the economic, social and environmental benefits delivered by an organisation to society’ and the Institute views social innovation as any new structure or process that enhances a society’s resources and cohesion. Crucially, the ISII is fully self-sustaining and sources its income entirely from external contracts/grants, with no core University funding provided. In this way it operates in the same manner as a socially innovative, entrepreneurial organisation!

What does the ISII do?

  • Supports social innovators to develop their ideas and organisations through the delivery of cutting-edge academic research and consultancy services.
  • Collaborates on multi-disciplinary research projects through internal partnerships with the University’s other research institutes and centres, as well through external partnerships with other universities and organisations.
  • Evaluates the social impact of a range of initiatives and organisations, through the use of their bespoke ‘Social Impact Matrix©’ and qualitative research methods.
  • Supports the University in developing, implementing and evaluating socially innovative, high impact projects.

What are the ISII’s areas of interest?

The Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) has research interests in several areas, including at national, European and international levels:

  • Social Innovation
  • Social Impact
  • Social Investment
  • Educational Innovation
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Public Service Reform
  • Cross-cultural research
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Who are some of the ISII’s key partners?

ISII works/has worked with a range of external partners locally, nationally and internationally, including:

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Ministry of Defence
  • National Economics University Hanoi
  • Northamptonshire Community Foundation
  • Vietnam National University Hanoi
  • European Commission
  • HM Treasury
  • Big Issue Invest
  • British Council

For further information please contact the Institute’s team at



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