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March gives us the opportunity to celebrate Women’s Day, one isn’t enough. Let’s keep celebrating Women!

Investment Manager, Natalia Fernandez, writes about small loans having a big impact

At Big Issue Invest, we are approached by a range of enquirers and many are for small loans, sometimes hesitant as they are unsure if we can provide them. The answer is that we can and our main questions, ‘What is your social impact? What is it for? How will it help your business?’ it takes the same amount of time to process a small loan as it does a big loan so we want to be sure you make a difference.  Loans under £50k are important to us.

I am one of few women social investment managers and I am in good company. I have invested in women in business not just because they are women but because they are good at what they do, they care, they have their finger on the pulse and happen to be women.  We have invested in these women, they have taken repayable loan finance and it has made a big impact to their business.

Sue Jones at Harlow Advice Centre, manages an outstanding legal advice service. They have saved their clients from financial losses as well as keeping them in their homes.  This investment was for social impact, a positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge (University of Michigan) really puts this definition into action.

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Deborah Morris-Thomas, Director,  Art Hub Studios CIC is innovative and community focused in more ways than one. A small loan enabled Deborah to design and fit a space that provides affordable studio space to local creative individuals.  She has fully repaid her loan.

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Ruth Anslow at HISBE came to us for a short term loan that would impact their existing business it also led to growth and development for them.  ‘Big Issue certainly got us out of a tight spot and gave us the breathing space to go for the big raise’, which we at BII are delighted about, Ruth and her team deserve to do well.

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Take a look at…

Harlow & Essex Law Centre

Haringey Irish, Cultural & Community Centre

HISBE, supermarket rebels

These are smart, admirable women who set a fine role model. They work hard, they know their sector and they manage business like professionals. One of my favourite Women in Business is Cindy O’Garro, finance professional turning business around, checking the fine details and knowing all the assumptions behind forecasting.

We would like to thank our Growth Fund partners for helping us to support these organisations.

The Growth Fund(CMYK) horizontal