Place Category: Finance & legal
- Website & Social
- 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
Call: 020 7526 3448
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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 are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated May 2019
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
The Big Issue Group's mission is to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity, through self help, social trading and business solutions. Big Issue Invest supports this mission by providing finance to social ventures that help tackle poverty and inequality. 2017 /18 has been another important year in the company's development, with new funds and programmes coming on line and bringing the business closer to a scale that will sustain our activities for the long term. In the process, we have achieved significant milestones in terms of the amount and pace of our social enterprise investing activities, while the investees and other partners of BII are demonstrating substantial social outcomes of which we can be very proud.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
- • In 2017-18 BII invested £10.7m in 68 organisations and currently has investments in 150 organisations across the UK. This is a significant increase in investment activity compared to prior years.
- £5m of the portfolio is invested in 63 organisations working in the 20% most deprived areas of the UK.
- BII has invested £125k and dedicated a further £10m to payment-by-results investments that reward providers and investors for social outcomes achieved.
- The Aberdeen Standard Investments Equity UK Equity Impact - Employment Opportunities Fund launched in February 2018 with £5m seed capital. It aims to generate a financial return over the long term by investing in equities and equity-related investments of companies.
- Lord John Bird has successfully got his Private Members Bill, the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill through final stages in the House of Lords and it will now be considered by the House of Commons. The Bill allows rental and council tax payment history to be taken into account when assessing an individual's creditworthiness. The Bill extends the work started by Nigel Kershaw who first developed the idea of the Rental Exchange - with the aim of helping ex-homeless people in social housing get fairer access to more affordable credit. The Bill has served to highlight BII's financial inclusion investments in organisations such as Fair for You and East Lancashire Moneyline.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
BII makes loans to support smaller scale social enterprises with operating and capital investment needs.
During the period to 31st March 2018, BII disbursed £7m to 68 clients. This represents a significant increase in activity from the prior year when BII disbursed £2.7 million to 27 clients. Focus of activity during the year was:
- Making unsecured loans of under £ 150k by providing finance to social enterprises excluded from mainstream finance because of geography, risk profile or size of loan. BII continues to experience strong demand for this type of funding and has raised a further £Sm of funding to provide loans across the financial year to 31st March 2019.
- Making loans to create affordable homes in London.
- Accessing business support for social enterprises and charities. During the year, BII helped 60 organisations access £750k of business support grants.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
The gross loan portfolio (before loan loss reserves) as at 31st March 2018 was £ 13m, up from £8.2 million in the prior year. We anticipate disbursing a further £10m in the year to 31st March 2019 which will take the portfolio above £20m. Key themes for the coming year are increasing diversity of the portfolio, which builds upon our success in FYE 2018 (where over 50% of social investees were female-led and over 15% BAMER-led).
We report on each fund and make that information available on our website.