Big Potential Breakthrough and Advanced evaluations published

4 January 2017

Following the publication of the year one evaluation of Big Potential Breakthrough last year we are delighted to publish the year two evaluation of Big Potential Breakthough alongside the year one evaluation of Big Potential Advanced.

Big Potential Breakthrough

The year two evaluation of Big Potential Breakthrough looks at the second year of the programme and considers how well the fund is helping Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations improve sustainability, capacity and scale.

After two years of Big Potential Breakthrough we are starting to understand the impact it is having on the investment readiness and sustainability of the VCSEs it seeks to support. This knowledge will only grow as more of the work that the fund enables is completed and comes to fruition.

Big Potential remains the most significant investment readiness fund in the country. Both Big Lottery Fund and Social Investment Business are committed to learning the lessons of this evaluation and sharing them with the wider sector to help shape this programme and others in the future. 

The evaluation  includes recommendations for improvement around VCSE engagement, Provider values, Sustainability and Panel Rejection reasons.

Social Investment Business' response to the recommendations are published alongside the evaluation. 

Big Potential Advanced

The year one evaluation of Big Potential Advanced looks at the first year of the programme. The evaluation shows that there is demand for the fund and while the first year only saw a limited number of applications this accelerated towards the end of the year one and has continued in year two.

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.

The evaluation makes a number recommendations for improvements to the management of the programme around VCSE engagement, provider/investor networking and eligibility.

Social Investment Business' response to the recommendations are published alongside the evaluation.