Grants / Projects we are funding

Enabling a new financial system: WWF-UK (the Finance Innovation Lab)

Grant details


Awarded on:01/09/2012


Area of interest

Systems change

To create new collaborations to enable policy change and accelerate new finance business models with a social purpose.

What is the issue ?

Our existing finance system is no longer serving society and the environment. The system is stuck, yet our social, environmental and economic crisis deepen. We can no longer wait for vested interests and existing power bases to ‘solve’ our problems. So, we have a responsibility to ‘create’ the future we want to see in finance. Inspiration and hope are emerging as we see glimpses of prosperity and opportunity in alternative banking models such as peer-to-peer lending, impact investing, alternative currencies, local retail banks and credit unions – models that are diverse, meet local needs and serve a higher purpose. Now is the time to illuminate, support and scale these models so they have a systemic impact. The Finance Innovation Lab specifically sees an opportunity to shift the policy frameworks to enable the growth of this new market.

What will this project try to achieve?

The objective of this project is to create new collaborations between the growing community of finance innovators, thought leaders and policy makers to enable policy change that accelerates new finance business models with a social purpose.

Overall Intended Impact

  • Increased understanding and alignment of the systemic opportunities and ‘how’ to create the conditions for change for enabling new financial models;
  • Greater trust, alignment and deeper relationships between financial regulators and potential new entrants into the finance system;
  • Increased visibility, voice and support for the changes that are needed, including influencing the Banking Reform Bill; and
  • Stronger and growing market for new financial models that server the wider needs of society.

Who might be interested in this project ?

Stakeholder groups interested in the project will include:

  • Alternative financial service innovators, such as peer-to-peer platforms, community banks or impact investment funds;
  • Policymakers looking to find ways to diversify the finance system, including parliamentarians working on the Banking Reform Bill;
  • Economic and financial press and media; and
  • Academics, researchers and NGOs interested in a just financial system.

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