Flexible Social Finance

Fexible Social Finance has been designed with the social sector, for the social sector, with the aim to provide access to finance for socially trading organisations looking to grow their social impacts and improve self-sustainability.

Investment Overview

Big Issue Invest, in partnership with The North East Combined Authority and Power to Change, is proud to announce the launch of the new Flexible Social Finance fund. The fund is specifically designed to address the challenges faced by social trading organisations delivering significant social impact and may be struggling to secure loans from traditional sources – this includes organisations that have been previously rejected by other lenders.

The fund aims to:

  • Provide affordable and flexible repayable finance for social trading organisations
  • Support organisations looking to grow their social impacts and improve self-sustainability
  • Promote the socio-economic importance of social enterprises

The fund primarily benefits social enterprises, charities, and community businesses across Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland, fostering a thriving, inclusive economy.

Investment Details

  • Type: Loan
  • Amount: Between £50,000 to £400,000
  • Interest Rate: Flexible/considered upon assessment of individual position
  • Repayment: Over a 3-5 year term
  • Security: Usually not required, however, it may be requested in some instances


  • Social trading organisations, demonstrating strong social impact
  • Applicants must be actively trading and demonstrating revenue
  • We can accept organisations rejected or turned down by a bank or other lenders (but not an organisation in distress)
  • Organisations based and operating ‘ within Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside 

The fund will look to support organisations with strong social impact, including (but not limited to):

  • Community development and regeneration including; community businesses, community infrastructure projects, and local cooperative training models
  • Green enterprises such as retrofit
  • Health and wellbeing improvements including sport, recreation, and leisure.
  • Local green transport solutions in areas of need
  • Cultural and visitor economy
  • Hospitality and food venues, particularly those addressing food waste and food poverty
  • Female led organisations
  • Global majority led (BAME)
  • Disability led
  • LGBTQIA+ led
  • Owners from lower socioeconomic backgrounds

Application Process

Our investment managers will support you every step of the way to complete an application:

  1. Register your interest below
  2. An investment manager will reach out for a first-stage conversation to see if the fund is right for you
  3. Work with your investment manager to submit your application
  4. Once submitted your application will be assessed.  Timescales may vary, but we will give you regular progress updates

Meet The Team

If you have any questions about the application process our friendly Flexible Social Finance team are here to help.

Michael Burns

Investment Manager


Michael has joined The Big Issue Invest as an Investment Manager bringing experience built at The Social Investment Business where he held approaching 13 years covering assessment and portfolio management of a range of impactful social enterprises through SIB’s various loan and grant funds.
Prior to this, Michael has worked in the field of micro finance with a Northeast based CDFI responsible for assessment/deployment of funds for positive outcomes, as well as its portfolio management.

Please refer to our privacy policy for information on how we handle your personal data when you use our website or get in touch regarding our services.

Get the latest social impact investment news from Big Issue Invest direct to your inbox

Together, we can create core solutions to end poverty in the UK