Social Capital

What is Social Capital?

Making the most of social capital – the network of relationships and values that connect individuals and groups in society and enable collective action - is vital to the well-being of communities and to ensuring that a broad range of economic and social policies and programmes are as effective as possible.

Assist Social Capital CIC (ASC) was set up to promote the practical use of social capital.

Social Capital describes the relationships and networks we have with each other and the values which govern them. It shapes the quantity and quality of our social interactions and how well we can act collectively to tackle issues in our lives. There are four main components of social capital:

  • networks (groups of people linked by a number of different types of ties)
  • reciprocity (whether people will help each other because they know it will benefit the group as a whole or they are confident that someone will return the favour to them in the future)
  • trust (the expectation that other members of a community will be honest and co-operative)
  • values, norms and sanctions (shared standards of behaviour and expectations)

How do we work with Social Capital?

Based on the theory of social capital we have developed services for interested organisations, community projects and social enterprises to learn more about social capital and how to evidence it:


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