Jargon Buster


SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
In 2015 the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ was implemented by all UN Member States. This agenda was comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These interlinked global goals cover everything from No Poverty to Quality Education.

Senior Debt
Debt that takes priority over any other debt, often secured against the borrower’s assets, although not always. Senior debt is cheaper as it usually has security and has more seniority i.e. the risk is lower to the lender as it has to be paid first, so it is cheaper.

SESF (Social Enterprise Support Fund)
A fund set up to support over 500 social enterprises rebuild after COVID-19 through two rounds of grant funding.

The equity value of a company broken down into equal parts that can be bought and sold, which entitle the holder (shareholder) to a proportion of the profits.

SITR (Social Investment Tax Relief)
The Government’s tax relief scheme providing different types of relief for investors (from income tax relief to capital gains tax relief) to encourage them to support social enterprises.

Social Enterprise
Businesses that use their profit for a social and/or environmental purpose. There are over 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, providing 2 million jobs and generating £60bn.

Social Impact
The effects of a social impact investment, measured both quantitatively (e.g how many rough sleepers housed, how many new jobs created) and qualitatively (e.g sharing stories of social enterprises improving lives).

Social Impact Investor
Investors seeking positive social impact as well as a financial return through engaging with social impact investing.

Social Investment
Providing repayable finance to enterprises with a social purpose, such as charities and social enterprises. The investment enables them to deliver products or services that create measurable, lasting social impact that improves people’s lives. 

Social Sector
Social sector (or third sector) organisations are defined by the Dormant Accounts Act as those that “exist wholly or mainly to provide benefits for society or the environment.” This includes organisations such as charities, Community Interest Companies or Community Benefit Societies, as well as some profit-making companies or enterprises that have a clear social mission. 

Social Venture Capital Fund
A fund that invests in small, early stage enterprises with high growth potential.

Sophisticated Investor
An investor (often a high net worth individual) who is deemed to have a depth of experience and market knowledge, allowing access to certain investment opportunities. 

Supported Housing
Housing for people with support and/or care needs, enabling them to live in a community setting as opposed to residential care or other inappropriate accommodation.