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Social Impact

We invest in organisations that have a clear social mission and a business model that delivers

Social impact is a part of Big Issue Invest’s DNA. The Big Issue exists to provide homeless people with a means of earning a legitimate income. Big Issue Invest exists to help prevent the problems that lead to people becoming homeless in the first place – typically those related to poverty and disadvantage.

Nearly £30 million has been invested in 330 social enterprises and charities. Over 50% of these organisations work in the 25% most deprived areas of the UK. Together, these organisations have directly benefited over 1.8 million people and created over 3,200 jobs.

The organisations we finance are a diverse mix of socially-driven organisations whose activities achieve a range of social outcomes, including:

  • Employment and Training Skills development, job creation and employability for the long-term unemployed, including the homeless and ex-offenders.
  • Mental Health. Improving the well-being of those with mental health problems.
  • Health and Social Care. Improving access to preventative healthcare and social services in low-income communities.
  • Financial Inclusion. Increasing access to affordable credit and savings services for low-income people.
  • Community Development. Increasing the quality and accessibility of community services, including daycare centres and community sports and leisure facilities.
  • Community-led Environment. Scaling-up community-driven renewable energy and resource conservation enterprises that have local social and economic benefits.

All investee businesses are required to regularly report on their social performance. We have developed a methodology and impact assessment tools that help us make informed decisions and are proportional to the nature and level of our investment across our CSV, lending and investment funds.

We aim to find the right balance of performance data that provides both meaningful social impact reporting to our investors and valuable business insight to investees, while avoiding over-burdensome reporting requirements. BII will continuously improve and refine its approach to measuring social impact based upon its own and others’ experience.