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Social innovation

Fostering social innovation in the way we think, work and operate is a priority for Barclays

Barclays Social Innovation Facility (SIF) incubates financial products and services that will have a sustained social or environmental impact. The SIF works with ideas created by innovators within Barclays – our intrapreneurs – and helps support them through the product-development process, from scoping out the market, to commercialising the opportunity. Products range from impact investing to retail banking services for ex-military.

Through the Social Innovation Facility, Barclays is cultivating an intrapreneurial mind-set where colleagues are encouraged to think and develop independent ideas in order to bring new perspectives to our businesses and clients

Mark Thain

Director of Social Innovation

Intrapreneurs at Barclays

Fostering an environment where employees are able and encouraged to be intrapreneurs is critical to successfully delivering social innovation and surfacing new ideas.

Barclays SIF works with hundreds of potential intrapreneurs each year – harnessing employees’ leadership, business planning and strategic thinking skills. Ideation is supported through hackathons, workshops and Intrapreneur Labs, where employees, including our next generation of leaders, come together to uncover new business opportunities.

Begin your intrapreneurial journey today by trying our free tools on the Know-How for Social Innovation created in partnership with Business Fights Poverty.

Our success stories

Barclays SIF has invested in 50 projects, supporting their development through a range of financial and non-financial mechanisms. The SIF targets growth markets that are strategically aligned to Barclays, with products and services ranging from impact investing funds to blockchain solutions addressing transparency in the supply chain.

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  • Armed Forces Banking Proposition

    Barclays tailored banking products and services for the military were led by a team of innovative Barclays graduates. The team worked with the SIF from idea creation to launch.

  • Barclays Women in Leadership Index

    Barclays Women in Leadership Index (WIL) was incubated through the SIF. The index features companies with a female CEO or more than 25% female representation on corporate boards, building awareness of the importance of gender parity among corporate leadership, and bolstering relationships with institutional investors. In 2016, Bank of Montreal launched a new mutual fund that tracks the Barclays North American WIL.

  • Impact Investing

    Barclays is launching a series of impact investing products for family offices, foundations and retail investors. At the heart of impact investing is the aim to generate financial returns as well as positive social or environmental outcomes with your investments. Our research found that 56% of investors are interested in impact investing products, but only 9% have already made an investment. With this in mind, we launched a Multi-Impact Growth Fund, specifically designed for investors who want to consider the societal effect of investments, without compromising on their returns.

  • SME Innovation Finance Loans

    Barclays developed a proposition to support innovative SME clients through two products: GBP200m of Venture Debt, and Innovation Finance Loans of up to GBP5m in collaboration with the European Investment Fund. The two products formed part of Barclays support for entrepreneurs, and was led by intrapreneurs who saw the commercial and social value of supporting entrepreneurs to grow and scale.

SIF Insights