Since The Big Issue was founded in 1991 we have been in constant partnership with our vendors. They buy magazines for £1.25 and sell them for £2.50. They keep the profit from every sale, and can reinvest it buying more magazines.
Many vendors are homeless, or at risk of losing their home if they do not make enough money to pay rent and bills. Others have mental health problems that prevent them maintaining other jobs. Selling the magazine gives them the opportunity to earn their own income to get them through difficult times. You can read about some of our vendors here, or better yet, chat to your local vendor and get to know their story.
The Big Issue is a social enterprise, and our funding comes directly from vendor sales. This pays for the magazine to be produced and distributed across the UK so it is available for vendors wherever they need it. Sales offices with our distribution and outreach staff not only sell magazines to vendors but help them with issues they are facing and can refer them to other agencies for further support.
This is why it is so important that customers buy and take a copy of the magazine, so that the work of our distribution and outreach teams can continue and so the magazine is there for other people who come to the magazine in search of a hand up.