MAZE, former Social Investment Laboratory, works alongside impact ventures and investors to scale effective solutions for social and environmental challenges.
In 2013, the Social Investment Laboratory (LIS) was created by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG) and by IES Social Business School in partnership with Social Finance UK. Until the end of 2017, LIS launched 4 Social Impact Bonds, raised 3M EUR investment for impact ventures in Portugal and ran three acceleration and investment readiness programmes in Lisbon and Porto.
Additionally, and in partnership with FCG, LIS creation of the Portuguese Working Group for Social Investment and the provision of technical support to the Social Innovation Portugal Mission Structure. Its first report was presented in June 2015 at the Social Innovation World Forum in Lisbon. In July 2016, FCG hosted the G8 countries annual meeting about this topic.
LIS is now MAZE. Despite the name change, the vision remains the same and that was set out by FCG in 2013: impact-driven organisations have access to adequate skills, capital and intelligence in order to deliver predictable and better outcomes. Hence, all MAZE initiatives aim for the same: a social sector which has sustainable access to funding sources and makes a greater social impact.
To fulfil its vision, MAZE takes action in three different areas:
- First, MAZE empowers impact ventures to develop sustainable business models and to attract investment so that they can scale their solutions.
- Second, MAZE guides investors to commit their capital in a way that solves social issues and offers financial returns simultaneously.
- Third, MAZE helps to public sector to redesign their services towards impact delivering positive outcomes for local populations.