Big Issue Invest Supports Next Wave of Top Social Entrepreneurs

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has revealed the social businesses who have successfully secured investment through its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) Programme.  CSV is an innovative business support and investment initiative that facilitates growth and development among organisations that are using business solutions to remedy some of society’s biggest challenges throughout the country.

This year, a total of 12 initial investments have been agreed and will be allocated to the following organisations:

  • Activ Zone
  • Bite the Ballot
  • Change Please
  • EPIC Risk Management
  • The Employability Trust
  • Genie in the Gutter
  • Goldfinger Factory
  • Hire Hand
  • Home Services Support
  • Hospice Quality Partnership
  • Off the Scale
  • Specialisterne

A further 5 organisations; Breathe Arts Health Research, Mental Fight Club, Papi’s Pickles, Ruby Moon and Tiny Diner will continue to receive business support.

The CSV Programme is an innovative partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays as part of their commitment to impact 5 million young futures by 2015 with investment and support from; Experian, First Ark, Fusion 21, Places for People and the University of Northampton.  The programme is supported by the Social Incubator Fund (Cabinet Office). These social businesses create real and lasting opportunities for people in areas such as: employment, health and well-being, youth engagement and gambling addiction. The programme which is now in its second year opened in May, receiving almost 200 applications.

Nigel KershawNigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of The Big Issue Group remarked, “The CSV programme reflects the ‘hand up not a hand out’ ethos synonymous with The Big Issue organisation through the way it operates.  Each year we find ourselves almost awe-struck at the amount of businesses around the country who are driven by a determination to create a social impact that will positively affect groups who are most vulnerable and marginalised in society. 

The diversity and quality of this year’s cohort is extraordinary, from Off the Scale in Birmingham who work with people dealing with depression and sell vintage clothing to London based Bite the Ballot who have achieved incredible results connecting young people with politics both online and offline.  It has been a real privilege to work with all of them and we look forward to supporting them to grow their business to deliver real and needed social value.”

Big Issue Invest is the social investment arm of The Big Issue, helping prevent poverty and inequality by backing sustainable social enterprises, charities and ventures. It is a specialist provider of finance to social enterprises led by social entrepreneurs having invested £30m since 2005.  36 social businesses (including this year’s investees) will have received finance through the CSV Programme and its predecessor Tech for Good.

For more information about this year’s winners and the CSV programme, please visit