finance

Big Issue Invest announces eight social ventures set to receive £500,000



Big Issue Invest has announced the eight social ventures chosen to receive support from the its Power Up Scotland scheme.

The lending scheme offers investment, advice and support to early stage social ventures across Scotland. This year the scheme has been able to offer £500,000 worth of investment in total.

The eight social ventures which will receive support are:

  • Ayrshire Women’s Hub
  • Bikes For Refugees
  • Brave Strong Beautiful
  • Coffee + Clay
  • Common Ground Against Homelessness
  • Lochend Football Academy
  • MyPickle
  • Wee Seeds

Big Issue Invest’s Power Up programme, launched in 2017, was opened to organisations across Scotland from July to September this year.

It aims to enable organisations to build on the good work they currently do within their communities – whether that’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans.

Successful applicants receive mentoring and business development support to social ventures for the two-year period.

The programme is funded by partners abrdn, University of Edinburgh, Experian, Places for People and the Scottish Government, with legal support from Brodies.

Danyal Sattar, chief executive of Big Issue Invest, said: “It is challenging as a social venture to secure early-stage funding, so we are pleased, working with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to be able to support these organisations with the investment and business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference.”

Steven McCluskey, founder and chief executive of Bikes for Refugees, added: “We have no doubt that this valuable programme will provide us with the much-needed support that we require at this pivotal stage in our growth and development as we aim to increase impact and become financially secure and sustainable in our work with refugees.”

The programme has been designed for early stage social ventures, no matter whether it is just in the ideation phase or whether it has been trading for a couple of years. For many of the applicants this is the first time they have accessed finance.

Big Issue Invest extends The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and charities across the UK. It offers loans and investment from £20,000 to £3m.

Since launching in 2005, it has invested in more than 400 organisations, and currently manages or advises on £350m of social funds.

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