Social finance

New and innovative approaches are critical to addressing major challenges in the world. Social finance is at the forefront of new ways of working and has the potential to fundamentally improve the way philanthropy and international development are delivered.

We are global pioneers in social finance, with a strong track record of driving successful collaborations and applying social finance approaches to solve social and economic challenges in South Asia. We work to address challenges and barriers faced by non-profits, governments, donors and other key stakeholders with social finance tools like impact bonds.

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“I am also immensely proud of the fact that the British Asian Trust continues to be a genuine leader in social finance and development impact bonds – a marvellously imaginative innovation which I have done my best to support and encourage for the past ten years.”

His Royal Highness The former Prince of Wales

Our focus area

Our award-winning Social Finance Unit is driving a range of innovative initiatives to unlock new capital to address the most urgent issues of South Asia.

There is growing interest from the private sector to increase support to what works, in a flexible manner.

With proven ability to fundraise and dedicated focus and networks in South Asia, we also have a strong track record and market credibility in implementing outcomes-based programmes.

Our core work in social finance is supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Tata Trusts, USAID and Dubai Cares.

We also work in partnership with the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) at the University of Oxford and the Impact Bonds Working Group to help grow the outcomes financing sector.

Excellent Results For World’S Largest Education Development Impact Bond

What we are doing

  • Quality Education India Development Impact Bond

    The $11m Quality Education India Impact Bond is the world’s largest education bond. It used results-based funding to improve learning outcomes for 200,000 primary school children.

    Young girl at whiteboard, India
  • Skill Impact Bond

    The first of its kind in the skilling sector in India, this $14.4m fund will support 50,000 young people to get jobs, 60% of them young women.

    British Asian Trust Collaborates With Global Partners To Launch India’S First Skill Impact Bond
  • Bharat EdTech Initiative

    The Bharat EdTech Initiative aims to enable children from underserved and marginalised communities to access online education. Along with the British Asian Trust, it is supported by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sattva Consulting and Give India.

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  • Outcomes Readiness Programme

    This capacity building programme aims to support Indian non-profits to access outcomes-based financing tools.

    Quality Education India
  • Blended Finance Instruments linked to Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health in Bangladesh

    This work is exploring the potential of blended finance to fund and enhance maternal, neonatal and child health care in Bangladesh. We are working alongside Social Finance UK and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh and are supported by USAID Invest and the Global Financing Facility.

    How Will You Beboldforchange This International Womens Day 2
  • LiftEd

    LiftEd brings a vibrant and diverse mix of CSR, philanthropic, and education partners together to strengthen foundational learning for up to 4 million children in India over 5 years.

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Past work

  • Feasibility Study on Application of Impact Bonds in Pakistan

    As recognised leaders in social finance in South Asia, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) commissioned us to assesses the feasibility of applying impact bonds in Pakistan.

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Ronald Cohen Pjg

“What the British Asian Trust is doing in social finance is truly groundbreaking: it is capable of delivering vital social improvement at scale.”

Sir Ronald Cohen


  • Social Outcomes Conference 2021

    Woman sewing in factory, India
  • Reimagining the Indian economy requires reimagining everything for women

    Woman weaving, India
  • Blogs

    Social finance Why EdTech funding needs to link to outcomes, not numbers

    Social Finance Why Edtech Funding Needs To Link To Outcomes, Not Numbers Card
  • Top five legal questions when structuring an Impact Bond

    Top Five Legal Questions When Structuring An Impact Bond 1
  • Lessons from outcomes-based approaches to employment and skilling in low- and middle-income countries

    Lessons From Outcomes Based Approaches To Employment And Skilling In Low And Middle Income Countries
  • News & events

    Top marks for India’s largest Development Impact Bond

    Top Marks For India’S Largest Development Impact Bond
  • News & events

    QEI DIB chosen as an inaugural AVPN Constellation Laureate

  • What happens in an outcome-based financing model when a major crisis hits?

    What Happens In An Outcome Based Financing Model When A Major Crisis Hits
  • News & events

    British Asian Trust Executive Director of Social Finance appointed as part of the GO Lab Fellowship

    Go Labs Jpg

Do get in touch