New research by the Impact Investing Institute has revealed the first estimate of the total size of the UK’s impact investment market.

The report in collaboration with accountancy firm EY, titled “Estimating and describing the UK impact investing market”, revealed the estimated size of the market in 2020 was £58 billion, representing an estimated 3.3-8% of the global market.

Other key findings from the research included the identification of social investors, private equity, and venture capital firms and foundations as the leading impact investors in the market today, and institutional investors as the “primary drivers of future growth”.

The report also sought to consider the future of the market, how it should be defined, and the methodological limitations raised when trying to size it.

Sarah Gordon, chief executive of the Impact Investing Institute, said: “The impact investing market has grown hugely over the last decade.

“This new report demonstrates how far it has come in responding to people’s growing desire for their money to deliver positive impact for both people and the planet as well as a financial return – but it also shows how much further room there is for an impact investment approach to grow and develop.”

Additionally, healthcare, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities were found to be the top focus areas for investment.

Although, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) have estimated the size of the market globally, the UK’s individual contribution has never been calculated before.