Project: The Big Issue Invest Innovation Engine
Big Issue Invest (BII) will work with an external consultant, seconded from Big Society Capital (BSC), to develop and implement a robust product development innovation process. BII is at a turning point to consider a range of demand-driven product innovations and new product development is the key focus of the organisation over the next 18 months.
Once the current larger investment funds are fully committed, BII will need to raise new funds to continue to meet demand. BII would like to develop and codify a process for product innovation that will better take into account the insight from end-user beneficiaries, staff and investee organisations. This product innovation engine will be a template that can be embedded in BII and generate new ideas for business development, but also a template for product innovation to be shared more widely with the sector as best practice to drive further innovation.
A detailed process has been proposed for product development. This involves three phases of: 1) mapping market opportunities, 2) co-designing product development solutions, and 3) testing and formalising a design process, which can be standardised for future replication.
The idea for the innovation engine is to create a sustainable way for BII to design and deliver investible products that will benefit the market. Charities and social enterprises will benefit from properly designed and tested social finance products that better meet their needs, with support from BII. These social purpose organisations will benefit from better resourced, financially resilient and more sustainable services. BII has a pipeline of potential projects to take through this process, which should result in tangible new products for the market.