Our Approach

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Being ‘Accessible’

  • In everything we do, we want to express ourselves clearly and simply, using language which makes sense to the Charities and Social Enterprises we have been created to support. In order to achieve this, we seek feedback, check for understanding, and look for opportunities to improve the ways in which we communicate.

Sharing what we’re learning

  • Access is committed to building and sharing an evidence base from all of our programmes, producing our own analysis and inviting others to do the same. In order to be meaningful, we believe learning must be used to improve performance as we go, as part of a continuous cycle, rather than something which only happens at the end of a programme or activity.
  • We will be publishing data on all of our programmes regularly, via a ‘dashboard’ on our website, which will provide an easily understood overview of our work, with all of the underlying detail also made openly available.

To further support a shared understanding of the needs of Charities and Social Enterprises seeking social investment, we have commissioned several pieces of research, and will continue to support such work as our programmes progress.


  • Charities and Social Investment, IVAR – exploring charities’ experience of seeking, securing and managing social investment. (Co-funded with Barrow Cadbury Trust)
  • Prospecting the Future’, SEUK – drawing out trends from SEUK’s state of the sector surveys
  • The Pipeline for the Growth Fund, NPC – a market mapping project, setting out the range of organisations who may be successful intermediaries on our Growth Fund programme.

In Progress

  • Data Evolution, DatakindUK – developing a framework for Charities and Social Enterprises to better understand their current use of data and how best to support them to do more (co-funded by NESTA, Teradata and Esmee Fairbairn)
  • Quasi-equity and Revenue Participation, Flip Finance – mapping recent uses of ‘Quasi-equity’ and other revenue participation-based investment models, and developing proposals for their use in the near future, particularly for sub-£150K levels of investment.

Managing our Endowment

  • Over 10 years, we are spending down an endowment of £60M from the Cabinet Office: this means that we have considerable funds to look after in the intervening years. We are taking a total impact approach, seeking to invest these funds in a way which meets both our social and financial objectives.

Championing the development of the Social Investment market

Through making our work accessible, evidence-based, and sharing what we’re learning with a range of audiences, we wish to make a material contribution to the development of the social investment market, in England and beyond.

In all of our activities, we seek identify opportunities to influence and support the work of others, make connections, encourage collaboration, and invest in the development of infrastructure designed to be of benefit to the market as a whole.