Christmas came early for me, as I started at the beginning of December. I’m absolutely delighted to join Big Issue Invest as CEO.
Across the board at Big Issue Invest we have in our portfolio a great group of social enterprises and charities delivering high quality services to the country’s most vulnerable communities. Behind the scenes you’ll find that we have great team of people here working hard to serve each Investee’s funding needs.
What I have particularly liked in joining Big Issue Invest is the range of interventions we have. From the Corporate Social Venturing programme that supports early stage businesses, through to our lending programmes that provide unsecured loans to smaller organisations and our larger scale investments on our regulated Fund Management side. We have a product to suit many of the investment needs of the social sector.
Christmas falls just after the shortest, darkest day of the year and with the harder months of winter yet to come. Homelessness in the UK is steadily rising which is a grim indicator of a rise in poverty. Our Group mission to “dismantle poverty and create opportunity through self-help, social trading and business solutions” and backing organisations offering these solutions is needed now more than ever. That’s one of the best things about our investment role. Take a look at our investment portfolio and you will see people making a difference to poverty in the UK. That’s what we get to do every day when we come into work.
Looking ahead to the new year, one of the best things about the cold months for me is the speed at which the days become lighter and longer again. It’s a great time of year to be thinking about our forward strategy. Wherever the team sees demand, is where we are likely develop new offerings.
Finally, it’s a time to remember that our vendors are at the heart of our business. The social enterprises and charities that we support help people like them and help to prevent poverty in the first place. Seeing my regular vendor in The Big Issue Foundation’s 12 Days of Christmas rendition shows that we are heading in the right direction.