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Social Innovation Facility

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Social innovation

Barclays Social Innovation Facility (SIF), was launched in 2012 with a commitment to develop commercial solutions that directly address societal challenges. 

The SIF incubates products within our core business in order to drive an ongoing social impact, and is available to employees across Barclays business divisions and geographies. The SIF works with ideas created by innovators within Barclays – intrapreneurs. Intrapreneurs are supported by SIF through product-development (from market scoping to commercialization). This enables Barclays to overcome common challenges to successful social innovation which include short term planning horizons, limited risk appetite, and/or competing priorities and resources.

Fostering social innovation in the way we think, work and operate is a priority for Barclays. 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.
Barbara Byrne, Vice Chair of Barclays Investment Bank


Barclays employees are key to successfully delivering social innovation, and the SIF engages up to a thousand potential intrapreneurs globally each year. Social innovation skills are a vitally important part of the development of our next generation of leaders and social innovation challenges and hackathons at Rise locations are integrated into our UK and US graduate development programmes. 

Product portfolio

The current social innovation facility portfolio includes more than 40 projects which have been awarded support through a range of financial and non-financial mechanisms. Projects supported by SIF target growth markets, and range from the business case for Barclays Impact Investing proposition - which will enable clients to make investments that generate social and environmental impact alongside financial returns - to Blockchain solutions which will address financial inclusion and transparency in the supply chain. 

SIF Insights 

Barclays work to develop colleagues through intrapreneurship has been covered in external publications including Harvard Business Review, Tufts Fletcher Business School, and Investor motivations for impact investing using Behavioural Finance expertise (PDF 346MB).

‘Shattering stereotypes – Women in Entrepreneurship’ (PDF 375MB) research investigated the lower representation of female entrepreneurs. The report identified that whilst women are underrepresented in entrepreneurship globally, they have more entrepreneurial ambitions than their male counterparts with less than 18% of male entrepreneurs saying they are very or extremely interested in starting another business in the next three years, compared to more than 47% of female entrepreneurs. 

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