The Portuguese Social Investment Taskforce gathers some of the most influential Portuguese institutions across the social, public and private sectors to discuss the creation of a new market in Portugal. The main output of its work was a report that provides a set of five recommendations, and their respective action plans, for the growth of social investment market.
The report was launched in June 2015, at the Social Innovation World Forum.
We are living in times of increasing social challenges. Portugal also faces many of these challenges: whether it’s the 17.4% of young people who are dropping out of school1, the 34.5% of youth who are unemployed2 or the 46.9% of Portuguese citizens who are at risk of poverty before social transfers3.
At the heart of Portugal’s response to these challenges is the work of social organisations. There are over 55,000 social organisations operating throughout the country, accounting for 2.8% of Gross Value Added and 5.5% of all paid employment4. They are the backbone of social service provision and new entities are forming every day to tackle the issues the country faces. Organisations like Fruta Feia and ColorADD are leading the movement in Portugal to rethink and reshape how to approach solving social problems.
Interest in developing a Portuguese social investment market is growing: social organisations are demanding access to adequate financing, investors increasingly have an appetite for investing in social impact and regulators and government are taking steps to promote this new source of funding.
Recognising the need to harness momentum, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation convened the Taskforce in July 2014, funded by the European Commission, to support the development of and provide leadership to Portugal’s emerging social investment market.
In the course of its work, the Taskforce sought to understand how the different parts of a market encompassing social organisations, government commissioners, intermediaries and investors, work together to create a successful environment in which the needs of the different stakeholders are addressed and better outcomes are achieved for vulnerable people.