Big Potential Advanced evaluation report: Year 1

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


Big Potential Advanced was created to complement the breakthrough route of Big Potential. For charities or social enterprises looking to raise over £500,000 of investment or bid for a contract over £1 million the fund provides specific support that was not previously available.

As we look at the evaluation of the first year of the fund there are a number of initial conclusions we can draw.

First, we know now that there is demand for the fund. Although we only received 23 applications this accelerated throughout the year. So far this trend appears to be continuing in year two.

Second, the geographical spread of applications is pretty similar to that of Big Potential Breakthrough. Despite the differences between the funds the greatest demand for each fund appears to be in the same areas.

The big question that remains unanswered though is how successful the fund has been in helping charities and social enterprises raise investment or win contracts. Unfortunately, it is too early for us to have an answer to this question.
Investment readiness projects take time and implementing improvements, raising investments or winning contracts can be long processes so the benefits are not immediately seen. Therefore, we are still waiting to see how successful the VCSEs who have been awarded grants have been in achieving their investment or contract goals.

Both Big Lottery Fund and Social Investment Business are committed to improving how this fund works and this report contains some key recommendations on how this can be achieved. Social Investment Business has published their response to the recommendations and agreed an action plan with the Fund to implement them.

We hope that during year two we will find out more about the demand for this fund as well as start to understand how effective the support has been in helping VCSEs raise investment and win contracts. We will continue to share our experience in order to inform the design of future programmes and better understand the most effective ways to help VCSEs scale up their social impact.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBig Lottery Fund
Commissioning bodyBig Potential
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017


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  • Social Investment Tax Relief

    Richard Hazenberg (Principal Investigator)

    Impact: Economic impacts, Public policy impacts, Social impacts, 08: Decent Work and Economic Growth (UN SDG), 09: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (UN SDG), 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (UN SDG)


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