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Social Impact Declaration
Social Impact Statements
  • Big Issue Invest is the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group. Its mission is to prevent and tackle poverty by creating opportunities for people and communities and its core business is providing finance to social enterprises. Big Issue Invest is creating a ‘social merchant bank’, by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs. By investing between £50,000 and £3 million, we harness the power of financial investment to grow social enterprises and charities, allowing them to address urgent social needs.

    For more information contact:

    Amelia Seeto, Head of Communications and Marketing
    Email: [email protected]

    Call: 020 7526 3448

  • Address: Big Issue Invest, 113-115 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park,
    Greater London
    N4 3HH
    United Kingdom
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  • Social Impact Statements:

    Social Impact Statements

    The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.

    In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.


    Updated June 2016

    1) A business solution to a social problem

    The Big Issue Group is made up of The Big Issue Company and Big Issue Invest, and the Big Issue Foundation, a related charity that supports Vendors of the Big Issue magazine.

    The Big Issue Company and Foundation primarily exist to support homeless and vulnerably housed people by providing a meaningful and legitimate income selling the Big Issue magazine.

    Big Issue Invest has a broader remit, investing in social enterprises that offer support and services to a variety of socially and economically disadvantaged groups including:

    • people with low incomes
    • people with long term health conditions
    • people who are long-term unemployed
    • disabled people
    • older people with health and care needs
    • vulnerable children and young people


    While the Magazine offers “a hand up” to people in the depths of homelessness crises, Big Issue Invest supports the scale-up of social businesses, charities and ventures that respond to social needs and help prevent people from reaching crisis point in the first place. Big Issue Invest is a “social investment financial intermediary”; part of a growing movement of organisations that harness the power of financial investment to grow social enterprises that are responding to urgent social needs. Big Issue Invest raises money privately (not from the sale of the Magazine) and invests in organisations that are delivering vital community services to enable them to grow and achieve sustainability.


    2) Helping people to take the first step on the journey away from poverty

    Homelessness often comes wrapped up with other problems and many people who are homeless are also deeply socially and financially excluded. Substance misuse, a history of personal trauma, and mental health problems are common. The Big Issue exists to offer people in this situation a first step on the path out of poverty.

    While the Magazine and Foundation work directly with Vendors to help them move forward, Big Issue Invest supports other charities and social enterprises to do the same. Big Issue Invest has invested over £30 million in social ventures and advised on the investment of a further £85 million invested in the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund to ensure those funds are reaching businesses that have a positive social impact.


    3) Improving social outcomes

    The investment of Big Issue Invest helped charities and social enterprises to develop their capacity and improve their own social outcomes. Highlights include:

    • The launch of the “Social Enterprise Investment Fund II”. The Fund has already raised £9m and invested in innovative projects such as the “Mental Health and Employment Partnerships” 5-year social investment bond, which provides intensive support to enable people who have been long-term unemployed and have mental health problems to get back in to work.
    • The continued growth of the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund. This Fund, under the advice of Big Issue Invest, provides ordinary individuals to invest their savings in socially beneficial businesses, bringing social investment to the mainstream market.
    • Completion of the second Corporate Social Venturing programme, which has invested £891,000 in 26 nascent social businesses helping them to get off the ground.