Social investment fund tackling UK social inequality hits the £1m mark with latest investments
The Growth Impact Fund, developed by Big Issue Invest and UnLtd, with support from Bank of America, announces its third round of investments helping social businesses grow their impact
4th October 2023 – A social impact investment fund developed by Big Issue Invest (BIIFM) and UnLtd, has provided a further £500,000 in investment to two social purpose organisations, taking the Fund’s total investments made to £1m.
The Growth Impact Fund is a £25m evergreen fund, investing in early and growth stage organisations, delivered by UnLtd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs and BIIFM, to help create a more equitable Britain. The Fund has attracted close to £10 million of capital so far, including grant capital from cornerstone investors Access – the Foundation for Social Investment and Bank of America.
The Fund has made a £250,000 investment in Lightning Reach, a platform that has facilitated over £6m in grants to individuals in need of financial assistance and registered over 60,000 users. Data from the Office Of National Statistics (ONS) suggests that most deprived areas of England are the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis, with 58% of people spending less on essentials than other parts of the country. By providing individuals with access to financial support, Lightning Reach is tackling the cost-of-living crisis head-on.
Nicole, a mother of two from Romford, accessed grant funding through the platform after finding herself facing financial difficulties. She said: “It relieved my stress; I was getting really stressed out about how I am going to pay. It reduced the number of days that I had to wait to top up the account to make sure the payment was made. The grant really helped me in that month to get me through.”
A further £259,482 was invested in chocolate company Harry Specters, which provides paid employment, work experience and training opportunities for young autistic people. Founded by Mona and Shaz in 2011 as a means of supporting their autistic son, the company now employs 12 Neurodiverse individuals and has provided over two hundred autistic people with free training and work experience.