Early Stage Venturing Programme

“The ESV programme is a great way of supporting social businesses and the communities they work in. For me, the most rewarding part was seeing the progress of the social businesses; whether that’s a week, month or year since I started working with them.” - Corporate Mentor

Big Issue Invest’s Early Stage Venturing programme develops early stage social businesses through investment, business support and cross-sector partnerships. This innovative programme takes the corporate social responsibility tools of employee volunteering and grant funding to a whole new level.

By offering expert mentoring, corporate partners are enabling social businesses to deliver profitable business solutions to address social problems. In turn, corporate staff benefit from using their skills to add value to social businesses.

Corporate partners provide early stage finance which is invested in developing social businesses. Partners often see a return on their investment and subsequently choose to recycle funds through future investments, nurturing a new generation of high-growth ventures delivering social and financial impact.

The ESV programme supports social businesses that work with the social outcome objectives of health and well-being, financial inclusion and education, employment and training.

The aims of the ESV programme are:

  • To facilitate long-term, value-driven partnerships by creating relationships and network opportunities across business sectors;
  • To provide early stage finance to support sustainable financial and social value delivery.

More than £3 million has been invested into 66 social businesses and more than 120 corporate mentors have been engaged in the programme since its inception. 

If you’re interested in applying or would like to enquire about our Early Stage Venturing Programme, please fill out the form via the button below and a member of our team will get back to you.

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