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Big Issue Invest Support Next Wave of Top Social Entrepreneurs



Big Issue Invest have revealed the social businesses who have successfully secured investment through the 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 and 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.

The ‘Caterpillar’s Cocoon’ which is the pinnacle event on the programme took place at Experian in Nottingham on November 4.  A packed schedule saw 17 organisations put their cases forward to the investment panel made up of representatives from partners who support the programme.  While some of the participating social businesses did not receive finance at this time, they will continue to receive business support.

Nigel 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.”