Big Issue Invest Scotland (BIIS)

Big Issue Invest Scotland (BIIS)

Big Issue Invest Scotland (BIIS) is a new joint venture between Big Issue Invest (the social investment arm of The Big Issue) and DSL Business Finance. This venture has been established to provide social investment and loan finance to social enterprises, social ventures and third sector organisations in Scotland.

Big Issue Invest Scotland will offer a flexible finance model by offering loans from £3,000 to £1.5m and social investment from £50,000 to £1.5m. Like The Big Issue, we aim to help people to help themselves by investing in social enterprises that have business-like responses to social problems, with self-help and prevention at their core. Our mission is to back sustainable social ventures that help tackle poverty and inequality.

Big Issue Invest Scotland will;
•      further raise the profile of social enterprise amongst the Scottish public
•      provide a level of choice and variety for businesses who will want to explore all options for financing and investment for their enterprise
•      work in partnership with other providers of finance and investment, developing specialist economic sectors, investing where others are restricted such as employee owned businesses, co-ops, family businesses
•      build on DSL’s expertise and experience of lower value lending, with speedy, efficient and competitive finance between £3000 and £50,000 for smaller enterprises

Big Issue Invest was the first venture established as a social enterprise to bring patient capital and equity-like funding to social businesses in the UK. Building on this, Big Issue Invest Scotland is a venture established by social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs, and the teams at DSL and Big Issue Invest are delighted to have secured the services of David Cousland to be the General Manager of Big Issue Invest Scotland.  David is a pioneer and innovator in sustainable banking having spent 16 years working at ethical bank, Triodos where he supported many of Scotland’s most influential social and environmental organisations with their business finance requirements. David was responsible for developing and establishing the profile of the bank in Scotland, culminating in its move to high profile city centre branch premises in Edinburgh in 2011, reflecting the increase in Triodos’ Scottish business lending from £5.5m in 2003 to in excess of £62m in 2013. 

David will commence as General Manager of Big Issue Invest Scotland on 2 June 2014, based in the DSL offices in Glasgow but working throughout Scotland. For further information contact us by email:, telephone: 0141 425 2930 or visit our website:,