Big Issue Invest
Social enterprises and trading arms of charities are responding to the social crisis that is the fall-out from the current financial turmoil. Big Issue Invest, part of The Big Issue group of companies, will be part of this response by providing loan finance from £50,000 to £250,000 to meet shorter-term cash-flow or longer term investment needs.
We are also able to offer royalty structures that allow us to make investments that are normally associated with equity financing. For organisations bidding on public sector contracts, we can provide financing up to £8 million and the financial backing to help win contracts. Typically our partners have been trading for three years and have a turnover of over £250,000.
Big Issue Invest is also delighted to announce the appointment of Edward Siegel as its new Director of Investments. Ed joins the team to oversee our investments and run Big Issue Invest’s new social enterprise investment fund. With the launch of the new fund in early 2009, Big Issue Invest will be able to offer a full range of financing options from loans through to equity finance. Ed has over 12 years experience working on initiatives to improve access to finance and socially responsible investment. Prior to joining Big Issue Invest, Ed was Vice President at ShoreBank International, the international consulting arm of ShoreBank Corporation, America’s oldest and largest community development bank. Ed has made a career of finding innovative ways of providing finance to businesses deemed by traditional financial institutions to be too risky.
The Big Issue was founded to find a business-like solution to the social crisis of homelessness and so Big Issue Invest is extremely proud to be a founding partner in the Spark programme. This ground breaking initiative was established last year by Big Issue Invest, the Trees Group, Eastside Consulting and the Department for Communities and Local Government in partnership with BT, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers and Places for People. This year Spark provided £800,000 in both investment and business support to fifteen social enterprises, including housing associations, homeless user groups, advice centres, business support centres, that are giving homeless and vulnerably housed people the opportunity to gain new skills and experience so they can get back into work and regain control of their lives.
Spark has recently received £2.5 million in new funding from DCLG and will be seeking bids from December 10, 2008. For more details visit www.sparkchallenge.org . Dave Miller from Bikeworks, which trained 3,000 people last year, said the £75,000 it received from Spark was crucial. “We take referrals from homeless organisations and train them as cycle mechanics and trainers, and they come out with a qualification. Spark has been key to us growing from a very small organization to one that can achieve big things.”
We are keen to hear from social enterprises and income-generating activities of registered charities needing investment. For details, see www.bigissueinvest.co.uk or call Becki Spurdle on 020 7173 6027.