Big Issue Invest, The Big Issue Group’s social investment arm, has launched a brand new £5 million lending scheme aimed at helping social enterprises and charities in England.
The Impact Loans England programme will make funding of between £20,000 and £150,000 available to organisations keen to expand – whether its buying equipment, hiring new talent, or making progress with business development plans.
One of the first organisations to take advantage of the new finance scheme is Impact Hub Birmingham. It offers office and events space for like-minded social enterprise and arts organisations, hosting one-off workshops and ongoing collaborative projects.
We were interested in building a better Birmingham
The hub’s city centre building opened in May last year, after a crowdfunding campaign raised an initial £65,000 for an impressive refurbishment of a Victorian warehouse.
“We were interested in building a better Birmingham, and thought that having a place to bring together lots of organisations with good ideas was a good way of achieving that,” says Andy Reeve, co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham.
“A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we wanted to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities,” said Daniel Wilson-Dodd, Head of Lending at Big Issue Invest.
The £5 million programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
Big Issue Invest is expecting a lot of interest in the scheme and is planning to deliver one deal a week for the first six months.