Today, (Friday 8th April) Big Issue Invest (BII) announced that it has been able to provide four social ventures with £200,000 of investment.
The social ventures were chosen as part of this year’s Big Issue Invest programme Power Up Scotland lending scheme that offers investment, advice and support to early-stage social ventures across Scotland.
Big Issue Invest’s Power Up programme, launched in 2017, was opened to organisations across Scotland from October to January this year.
The funding scheme aims to enable organisations to build on the good work they currently do within their communities. Whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans. Successful applicants receive mentoring and business development support to social ventures for the two-year period.
Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “It is challenging for social ventures to secure early-stage funding. We are, therefore, so pleased to work with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to support these organisations with the business development expertise alongside the investment, to get through this crucial early stage. The work these social ventures do in their communities is makes a real difference and it has been an honour to help them take this further.”
Cat Divers, My Pickle CIC Founder and CEO, added: “We exist to help people find support by signposting them to services such as helplines. With our volunteers we’ve built the UK’s largest hub of trusted national services for all life challenges from health to housing. We want to see a world where anyone facing crisis can get the help they need, regardless of their circumstances.
“When we joined ‘Power Up’ as My Pickle CIC we were struggling with how to make our work sustainable without introducing adverts or paywalls on mypickle.org. During the programme, with support from the Big Issue Invest team, we identified a new way to reach more people and keep this site free to use.
“Our new not-for-profit, National Support Network (NSN) CIC, helps companies to signpost customers or employees in need by embedding our support database onto their own platforms via subscription. We are very thankful for the support and funding which has made this possible.”
“But it is even more relevant today, given the impact of Covid on our children’s mental health. We have a tremendous opportunity to bring mindfulness to the early years and shift the mental health agenda for decades to come.
“The loan from Big Issue Invest will enable us to work towards that shift, power up our business ambitions, help future generations deal with the impact of Covid, and plant the seeds of positive mental health in our young people.”