Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Social investments in diverse-led businesses - Impact on Urban Health
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Research and development

Investing in ClearView Research and a more diverse support partner network

1 September 2021
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4 min read

Our impact-first social investments are designed to diversify the support partner network and, ultimately, to deliver more equitable health outcomes in our place.

Our mission is to achieve health equity by helping urban areas become healthier places for everyone to live. A key part of that work is addressing systemic causes of poor health outcomes.   

To support this mission, we fund partnerships and projects that are aimed at improving urban health in Lambeth and Southwark and at having broader implications for urban health across the world. These projects often involve working with ‘support partners’, including organisations that specialise in research, evaluation, behavioural science, digital content, community engagement or user-centred design. 

But we’ve observed that there is a lack of diversity in this support partner sector. As an organisation that aims to achieve health equity, this lack of diversity is a problem. We want to gather insights from, and work with, diverse communities to adopt a culturally relevant and competent approach. The lack – and relative size – of Black, Asian and other minoritized ethnicities as support providers, when compared to white-led organisations, is a manifestation of structural inequality in the sector.  

That’s why we are committing approximately £1.5 million toward impact-first social investments aimed at building a more diverse network of support partners. We believe a more diverse support sector will lead to more culturally relevant insights and, ultimately, equitable health interventions in Lambeth and Southwark. 

Louise Mousseau, Portfolio Director of our Research and Development portfolio, said: “Achieving health equity means addressing the systemic causes of poor health outcomes, and noticing when structural inequalities are playing out in philanthropic practice.  

“The supporting partner market that serves the sector is a great example of where there is a direct correlation between the size of organisations and the gender, class and race of who those who lead them. It needs to change, if not for any more obvious reason than we are placing the power for making social change in the hands of a non-representative group of organisations who may not be the most culturally competent to do the work. We see this manifest in low recruitment to studies and people being described as ‘hard to reach’, when the real issue lies with the organisation asking the questions.” 

Our investment in ClearView Research

It’s our mission to achieve health equity that has informed our investment in ClearView Research, a Black-led market research agency that specialises in research and community engagement projects which focus on underrepresented and culturally diverse communities. 

ClearView Research have grown rapidly in the past year. Our £200,000 loan, with generous terms and a low interest rate, plus a £100,000 retainer contract for work to be undertaken, is designed to support them to become a leading research and engagement agency, and to further diversify their offerings in the strategy, research and evaluation fields. Our investment will enable them to build their team, develop their expertise and increase their capacity.  

We have previously commissioned ClearView Research as a supporting partner on several of our projects and have always been impressed with their work. Those projects include: 

We want to make sure that we can amplify and platform the authentic voices and lived experience of those who often go unheard, to be heard, respected and recognised in evidence-based research. We want to provide the opportunity for people to be part of the process of creating innovative and culturally relevant solutions that benefit them and their community.  

Kenny Imafidon Co-founder and managing director of ClearView Research

Providing business support

As well as the financial investment, we have partnered with Sumerian Partners to provide ClearView Research with business support. ClearView Research are in the process of developing the company’s board of directors and Sumerian Partners provide governance and accountancy support. 

Amy Gutcher, the Chief Financial Officer at Sumerian Partners, said: “ClearView Research are a dynamic organisation that has ambitions to make a huge social impact. 

“We recognise that there are bumps in the road for all fast-growing organisations, which is why this investment from Impact on Urban Health is so good: it doesn’t just provide financial support but provides skills and experience to establish long-term infrastructure, like governance systems, that will enable ClearView Research to thrive.” 

Impact first social investments

Kenny Imafidon, the co-founder and managing director of ClearView Research, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Impact on Urban Health and to receive this time-critical investment in our business, with such favourable and equitable terms. 

“At ClearView Research, we mainly work with people who are from minority ethnic groups, culturally diverse communities, people with protected characteristics and those who often go unheard in traditional market research. We want to make sure that we can amplify and platform the authentic voices and lived experience of those who often go unheard, to be heard, respected and recognised in evidence-based research. We want to provide the opportunity for people to be part of the process of creating innovate and culturally relevant solutions that benefit them and their community.  

“This investment will enable us to scale up our business to meet client’s needs faster. Ultimately we are now better prepared and equipped to help organisations like Impact on Urban Health – and businesses – solve complex problems and improve society.”