Big Issue Invest raises over £21m to invest in social enterprises in the UK

One of the UK’s leading social investors Big Issue Invest has closed a first tranche of fundraising commitments of over £21m into its Social Enterprise Investment Fund II (SEIF II).

The social investor, which is part of The Big Issue Group, achieved this first close with the support of existing investors from its first investment fund (SEIF I) HSBC and Big Society Capital alongside a range of new investors including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. SEIF II will be used to invest in ‘businesses with ambitious social impact goals’ that can ‘deliver robust financial returns to investors’.

Big Issue Invest’s managing director Ed Siegel said: “We are delighted to have closed the first stage of the Fund at just over £21m.

“By proving that social enterprises can deliver social, environmental and financial returns, we can create a sustainable source of capital to drive positive social change. We are also pleased to have maintained the investment momentum we have had over the last couple of years thanks to another pioneering group of social impact investors.”

What we do is not charity.

Immediately following the first close, Big Issue Invest completed a number of investments totalling £4m in commitments. Among those organisations to receive investment were the London Early Years Foundation, a fast-growing nursery school business, and Care and Share Associates, a provider of domiciliary care in the north of England.

Ben Warren, investment associate at Big Society Capital, said: “Big Issue Invest has a great track record of raising investment and we are very pleased to support them with this fund. They are experts in providing a range of innovative financial solutions to some of the most difficult social problems and we look forward to working with the team as they continue to support a diverse range of charities and social enterprises across the UK.”

Nigel Kershaw, chair of The Big Issue Group, concluded: “Big Issue Invest was set up to help tackle and prevent some of our biggest social problems. What we do is not charity. We invest in businesses led by socially minded entrepreneurs from all walks of life. We understand first-hand how good, smart businesses can do great things.”

Fundraising for SEIF II will continue with a goal of bringing the total fund size to £30m later in 2016.

For information about applying for finance from Big Issue Invest, please click here.


Photo credit: Ales Krivec