For 26 years The Big Issue has been giving people a hand-up by providing a magazine for anyone experiencing homelessness, living on the margins or in poverty to sell – all our vendors buy their copies of the magazine from us for £1.25 and sell them for £2.50, making them micro-entrepreneurs and small-business salespeople.
Every transaction Big Issue vendors make, each and every sale, is an important step to help the regain confidence, skills in sales, stock control, money handling and planning, that can help them to find new opportunities to get their lives back on track.
And to make an even bigger difference, The Big Issue has launched a new drive called Exit from the Streets – a campaign that aims to give meaningful employment to our vendors, on top of selling the magazine.
We got it off the ground by employing vendors in The Big Issue Cymru’s Cardiff office to fulfil the despatch of our subscription sales of the magazine each week – which means that every time someone receives a subscription copy of the magazine, they also get a personalised message from the vendor who packaged it and posted it to them.
These are exactly the sort of innovations that will help us give a hand up to even more people on the margins.
And in 2018 we plan to do much, much more. These are exactly the sort of innovations that will help us give a hand up to even more people on the margins of society.