Big Issue Invest (BII), the investment arm of the Big Issue, has released the Social Enterprise Investment Fund (SEIF I) 2022/23 Final Impact Report, highlighting the success of the Fund in driving social and economic change for people affected by poverty in the UK.
Established in 2010, SEIF I has prioritised social impact over profits, while still delivering a financial return. SEIF I invested in organisations with innovative, socially-driven, and sustainable business models that improved the lives of the most disadvantaged individuals and communities.
By 2022, SEIF I had recovered all funds, with a return to investors, and had positively impacted over 550,000 individuals through the social enterprises it had invested in. The success of SEIF I and four successor funds, including the recently launched Growth Impact Fund, has established BII as a leading social investment intermediary in the UK.
SEIF I was a catalytic fund, demonstrating that there is a sizable market for social investment. The Report demonstrates the success of the Fund was driven by 5 key factors: financing for scale, taking a patient approach, driving innovation, meeting enterprise need through flexible finance and putting people first.
Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “Since the launch of this Fund, Big Issue Invest never deviated from its goal of finding ways to back social enterprises with the finance they need, to find enterprising solutions to poverty.
“As a social enterprise ourselves, we know how hard it is to grow and succeed as we live that every day in our own organisation. That keeps us on mission, on target. We know the goal and we don’t flinch from it. This, alongside the brilliant people steering it and the sheer persistence they showed, is what made this Fund a success.”