As impact investors, Nesta makes investments first and foremost to create social impact, and secondly to make a financial return. Therefore, measuring the social impact of its investments is fundamental to its work. The aim of Nesta's fund is to scale new innovations that successfully tackle social problems in a financially sustainable and impactful way. This means that they look to back outstanding social entrepreneurs who are developing new products and services that can significantly impact issues in the areas of young people’s education and employability, older people’s quality of life and the sustainability of UK communities.
This paper presents Nesta's practical experience of implementing impact measurement within an impact investing context. It discusses a number of case studies of how investments have carried out evaluation and what has been learnt from this practical experience.