About Big Issue Invest

"Big Issue Invest is the UK's first 'social merchant bank,' by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs. As a social enterprise ourselves, we understand how good businesses can achieve great things." Nigel Kershaw - Chair, The Big Issue Group

Who We Are

Set up in 2005 as the social investment arm of The Big Issue, Big Issue Invest exists to further The Big Issue’s activities and reach by financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and charities. Our goal is to continue supporting organisations that are seeking to make a positive difference for people and communities across the UK.

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What We Do

Big Issue Invest offers social enterprises, charities and profit-with-purpose businesses, loans and investment from £20,000 to £3 million. We currently manage or advise on £150 million worth of social funds and we have a range of funds, products and programmes designed to suit a variety of organisations.

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Our Social Impact

We provide finance to organisations that create positive social impact.  Almost all of our investees are unable to raise mainstream finance. We have made more than 300 investments totalling over £30 million since 2005. Over 50% of these organisations work in the 25% most deprived areas of the UK. Last year alone, the work of these organisations benefited over 1 million people across the UK. 80% of our investees became more financially sustainable as a result of our investment and more than half were able to hire new staff last year.

Our Investee Portfolio

We invest in a diverse mix of socially-driven organisations whose activities achieve a range of social outcomes, working in areas such as:

Education, Employment & Training
Income & Financial Inclusion
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Citizenship & Community
Physical Health
Conservation of the Natural Environment
Homelessness & Housing
The Big Issue Group

The mission of The Big Issue Group is to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity through self-help, social trading and business solutions.  Vendors buy The Big Issue magazine for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50, meaning each seller is a micro-entrepreneur who is working, not begging.  Founded in 1995, The Big Issue Foundation is an independently funded registered charity which works exclusively with magazine vendors, connecting them to vital support services.

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