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Big Issue Invest reports £37 million of investment into social enterprises and charities at time of crisis

  • Social investor reports supporting 138 social enterprises in past year
  • In turn, investees supported over 2 million people across the UK
  • 92% of investments contribute to core solutions to poverty

Today (Wednesday, 2nd November) Big Issue Invest (BII) has launched its 2021-2022 Impact Report.

The report revealed that the social investment arm of The Big Issue supported 138 social enterprises across the UK and had £37.5 million Assets Under Management (AUM) as of March 2022*.

The report detailed how, in turn, those 138 social enterprises were able to support over 2 million customers across the UK in the same period. 92% of investments made by BII contribute to core solutions to poverty.

Investees supported by BII have an average turnover of £5.59m and employ on average 72 employees.

The organisation also reported that, of BII’s total investment portfolio, almost 60% of investees are based in the areas of highest deprivation, according to the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation.

23% of BII’s total portfolio is invested into organisations directly tackling inequality in the UK in order to improve health, education and job outcomes in deprived areas.

Of the total number of investments, 47% organisations support people living in poverty and/or financial exclusion, 35% support people with mental health needs and conditions, 31% support vulnerable young people, 27% support those experiencing unemployment and 21% support older people.

The top five Sustainable Development Goals contributed to by BII’s investees were: Good Health and Wellbeing (30%), Decent Work and Economic Growth (17%), Sustainable Cities and Communities (14%), Quality Education (14%) and Reduced Inequalities (8%).

Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “As a pioneering impact investor in the UK, our aim is to innovate and collaborate to pre-empt as well as respond to social challenges. We are continuing to work with our partners on investment programs such as the Growth Impact Fund and Social Enterprise Support Fund, dedicating time to learning, improving, and sharing best practices to drive the sector forward.

“We have been focusing on developing our new lending programmes and our new Funds. It has been year of challenges and that continues into 2022 and beyond. We are up for it and we have to be. The charities and social enterprises we support are delivering the services that society needs right now. At Big Issue Invest, we are right there with them.”

The report also sets out Big Issue Group’s five-year strategy, launched this summer, which looks to support a greater number of individuals, organisations and communities in need, delivering creative solutions to unlock social and economic opportunity for people trapped in poverty. Through this new strategy, Big Issue Group will deliver an even greater level of impact for marginalised individuals, communities and organisations over the next five years, aiming for up to 11 million people to engage with Big Issue Group products and be positively impacted by Big Issue Group services.

The strategy encompasses three strategic pillars: Innovation, Prevention and Investment. BII’s work is focused on the third pillar by creating investment and lending opportunities for sustainable business, focused on delivering positive social and environmental impact.

For more information and to download the 2021-2022 Impact Report, please visit www.bigissue.com/invest/reports-publications.