Financial and Digital Inclusion

Our programme aims to enable Big Issue vendors and emerging vulnerable people to take control of their own journey to financial and digital inclusion.

Our ambition is to enable our vendors to feel confident navigating in a modern world. We want to ensure that every Big Issue vendor or those vulnerable to unemployment and/or homelessness who walks through the Big Issue doors with no ID, bank account, savings or digital skills, walks out having received the support, access, tools and guidance they need to take control of their own journey to financial and digital inclusion.

Since the beginning of 2019, we have made huge strides in our work around financial and digital inclusion (F&DI) and have been able to deliver great impact supporting our vendors to gain ID, open bank accounts, build their digital skills and confidence, accept cashless payments and connect with old and new customers through social media and ‘take their pitch online’ through the sale of online subscriptions.

We have successfully grown a wide network of partners from various sectors including corporate, government and third sector charity organisations. This has led us to create some fantastic partnerships, bring in significant revenue and have huge PR and media reach through campaigns such as Raising Profiles (below) and our cashless work with Zettle.


The Big Issue & LinkedIn – Raising Profiles (case study)

In addition to this, our financial and digital inclusion programme has become a core element of our vendor engagement activity and we have been able to train staff, establish frontline F&DI leads who work directly with vendors delivering F&DI programmes, and recruit new dedicated roles including a National Financial & Digital Inclusion Manager and a Regional Financial & Digital Inclusion Coordinator in Wales.

In the years ahead we will continue to support our vendors and aim to broaden our financial and digital inclusion programme to support the wide range of people, vulnerable to exclusion, that we work with. This will include the acceleration of our cashless programme, the roll out of our Vendor App and further development of hybrid ways of working such as digital sales.

We will do this by cultivating meaningful relationships and opportunities for collaboration with key strategic partners, that support our determination to overcome obstacles, avoid duplication and enable greater numbers of people. We will adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape and develop innovative digital solutions and opportunities, led by the needs of our service users.

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