Posts

Big Issue Invest supports local co-working space with a social purpose

Big Issue Invest logoThe Big Issue’s social investment arm, Big Issue Invest, has teamed up with Connection Crew to launch Canvas in Brixton – a co-working space with a social purpose.

The space offers creative and social ventures a spacious and aspiring base to grow from for a fair price. Any profit generated goes toward helping people out of homelessness and into training and employment.

Connection Crew, the organisation behind Canvas, is a social enterprise providing manpower to the events industry; 25% of its workforce is from a homeless background. Canvas, which benefited from a £45K investment, is based on the whole first floor of its HQ and training centre on Lyham Road, by HMP Brixton.

Director of Connection Crew, Charlie Dorman, commented: “When we moved here in February we thought we’d let our additional space to one commercial tenant. No fuss. Any profit would be used to maintain our training facilities.”

“But then we realised we could make a more inspiring contribution to the local economy by accommodating a range of ambitious, creative and socially responsible businesses instead.”

“It’s more fitting with the culture of diversity and collaboration that thrives here in Brixton. With the support of Big Issue Invest we’re in a position to help build on that.”

Alan Tudhope, Regional Investment Manager at Big Issue Invest said: “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we want to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities.”

“We are so pleased that we have been able to provide support to Connection Crew in order for them to continue to keep doing the incredible work they do.”

Big Issue Invest launched Impact Loans England, a £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000 in 2016. The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

Canvas will open early next year and is currently open for viewings, visit www.canvasbrixton.space for further information.

Big Issue Invest Launches ‘Impact Loans England’ Programme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has today launched Impact Loans England, a new £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000.

The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

Impact Loans England GRAPHIC

The Impact Loans England programme is now available to organisations across England with the £5 million to lend over the next three years. The funding is available to organisations keen to do more of the good work they do – whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans.

Daniel Wilson-Dodd, Head of Lending at Big Issue Invest says, “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we wanted to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities.”

One of the first organisations to take advantage of the new finance scheme is Impact Hub Birmingham. It offers office and events space for like-minded social enterprise and arts organisations, hosting one-off workshops and ongoing collaborative projects. The hub’s city centre building opened in May last year, after a crowdfunding campaign raised an initial £65,000 for an impressive refurbishment of a Victorian warehouse.

“We were interested in building a better Birmingham, and thought that having a place to bring together lots of organisations with good ideas was a good way of achieving that,” says Andy Reeve, co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham.

The team behind the Hub has encouraged a range of groups to work together on specific policy challenges and themes, like better childcare. “We’re providing the opportunity for people to work together on a consistent basis,” Reeve explains. “The financial support from Big Issue Invest will allow us to expand what we do.”

The Impact Loans England programme is a continuation of what Big Issue Invest has been doing over the past few years in other schemes aimed at helping social enterprises grow, often by accessing finance for the very first time. Big Issue Invest anticipates the popularity of this programme and is planning to deliver a deal a week for the first six months after launch.

Applications for Impact Loans England are now open. For more information please visit bigissueinvest.com or email [email protected]. You can also download the brochure.

A Twitter Q&A with @BigIssueInvest will be held in February, using the tag #ADealAWeek.