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Big Issue Invest unveils Social Impact Report 2018

Big Issue Invest is proud to have made 81 investments into 68 mission-led organisations in 2017-18 worth £10.7 million

Big Issue Invest is proud to launch our Social Impact Report 2018, revealing that we invested £10.7 million across 81 investments into 68 mission-led organisations from 2017-18.

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue and Nigel Kershaw OBE, Group Chair at The Big Issue Group, unveiled the Big Issue Invest Social Impact Report 2018 in the House of Lords.

At Big Issue Invest (BII) we have a total current investment portfolio of £26.4 million into 198 investments into 150 organisations.

The report detailed that of our total investment portfolio, £5.5 million is currently invested in 63 organisations in the 20% of the UK’s most deprived areas, where capital can have the greatest social and economic benefits, including the North East and North West.

We also reported that of our total investment portfolio, there had been an investment of more than £2 million and the dedication of a further £10 million in outcomes- based investments that reward providers and investors for outcomes achieved.

Almost half of the total number of our current investees (43%) target services at people with significant additional needs or disadvantages. And more than half – 61% – pay all of their staff at least the voluntary recommended living wage.

It’s brilliant to see the difference that Big Issue Invest is making right across the UK

The top 5 services offered by the total number of current investees were training (43%), education (42%), employment opportunities for disadvantaged individuals (34%), information advice and guidance (32%), life skills support, budgeting, parenting and personal safety (25%).

Of the total number of investments, 44 investments support people living in poverty, 37 support young people, 12 support the long-term unemployed and 11 support people with mental health needs. Other investments included organisations who support older people, people with learning disabilities and children.

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Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “It’s brilliant to see the difference that Big Issue Invest is making right across the UK. It’s also been fantastic to hear from investees about the positive impact they’ve been able to make in their local communities as a result of our investments.”

Nigel Kershaw OBE, Group Chair at The Big Issue Group, says, “Big Issue Invest is the UK’s first ‘social merchant bank,’ by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs. Everything we do is about helping social enterprises on the front line to create an impact.

“Our investments empower and resource society to take responsibility for positive change. The past twelve months have been unprecedented for us. We have made more investments than ever before and expanded our offer to meet the growing needs of the market. We are very proud of what we have achieved in such a short amount of time. Follow the mission not the money and the social impact will follow that”.

Big Issue Invest provides finance and support to social enterprises and charities seeking to dismantle poverty and create opportunity for people across the UK. It invests between £20K and £3 million in organisations seeking repayable financing options, helping them to scale up and maximise their social impact. Since launching in 2005, we have invested in over 330 organisations, all of which have positively influenced the lives of people across the UK. We currently manage or advise on £170 million of social funds.

All of the funds disbursed by us are sourced from a wide range of partners, including major financial organisations such as Barclays and Aberdeen Standard Investment. None of the funds we handle are generated from sales of The Big Issue magazine.

Download a copy of the report here.

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For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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