As director of Social Finance, Emily Bolton ties investors and social programs together to create positive change. Through Social Impact Bonds, investors who have supplied cash to promising social programs are repaid by the government if the program is a success over a certain period of years. One program supported by these bonds is reducing the rate of re-offenders from the Peterborough prison outside of London. In order for investors to profit, the rate must be reduced by more than 7.5%. Because they have a personal stake in the program’s success, these investors are participating in job counseling services to help the inmates reintegrate back into society.
This new level of accountability leads to better outcomes. As Emily explains, “The idea is to use money as an incentive for creativity and improved outcomes. Money tends to make people focus.” As the success of Social Impact Bonds begins to grow, Emily hopes to be able to fund services for the homeless, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and the unemployed.