BIGinvest seeks social ventures in need of £50,000 to £500,000
A specialist finance company founded by The Big Issue is seeking social enterprises in need of investments of between £50,000 and £500,000.
Created by social entrepreneurs, BIGinvest understands how to help social enterprises grow their businesses, lending not just money but expertise and experience to ensure partners’ long-term success.
For instance, St Margaret’s Bay Trust used a £250,000 loan from BIGinvest to help create Pines Calyx, a state-of-the-art eco-friendly conference and training centre in Kent. Pines Calyx has just won the prestigious Sustainable Building Award at the 2007 Sustainable City Awards for its near zero-carbon design and construction.
Clients say they like dealing with an organisation that has experience in running a social business. As Alistair Gould of Pines Calyx put it: “Being a social enterprise itself BIGinvest immediately recognised what we were striving to do in the long term. Without its £250,000 investment, our project would have stalled half-way through.”
BIGinvest chief executive Nigel Kershaw believes BIGinvest can offer partners like the St Margaret’s Bay Trust a unique service because their experience enables them to look at loans from the perspective of the borrower as well as the lender.
He said: “We’ve created a pool of financial expertise that understands socially-driven businesses. We’re there to create social change and social opportunity, not just financial returns. What is so unique about BIGinvest is being able to look at really creative ways of investing and lending money.”
Over the past 18 months, BIGinvest has built a solid track record in providing equity-like investment to social enterprises: delivering blended financial and social returns to investors. BIGinvest’s loan portfolio includes some exciting and innovative social businesses, such as SCA Healthcare, Belu Water and Thorpete (see notes below).
BIGinvest is keen to hear from social enterprises and income-generating activities of registered charities needing investment. For details, see www.biginvest.co.uk or call the team on 020 7173 6027.