Big Issue Invest raises £21m to support UK social enterprises

Big Issue Group's social investment arm will use funding to inject upto £3m in ventures and charities that help people and communities

Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue Group, has announced the closure of a £21m funding round into its Social Enterprise Investment Fund II (SEIF II) with backing from HSBC and Big Society Capital.

Big Issue Invest was founded to prevent and tackle poverty by providing strategic support and medium-term growth capital of between £50,000 and £3m to social enterprises, charities and ventures that create opportunities for people and communities.

It previously raised £4m from HSBC to support its Social Enterprise Investment Fund I which funded additional nursery school places and increased the capacity of social care providers dealing with homelessness, social and financial exclusion and youth unemployment.

SEIF II has already completed a number of investments to the tune of £4m including investment in Care and Share Associates, The Mental Health and Employment Partnership, and London Early Years Foundation.

Fundraising for SEIF II is set to continue with the goal to bring the total fund size to £30m later this year.

Ed Siegel, Big Issue Invest's managing director, commented: "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."

Richard Cole, global head of principal investments at HSBC, continued: “We are pleased to be a cornerstone supporter of the SEIF II and to support Big Issue Invest. This is a small but important part of HSBC’s continuing backing for small businesses and social enterprises across the UK.”

The above article by Henry Williams first published on in Jan, 2016.