Big Issue Invest launches £10m social enterprise fund

28/04/2009 Return to news archive

By David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online, 23 April 2009 

Fund will invest up to £500,000 in each business

A new £10m fund that will invest in social enterprise is being launched by Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of the Big Issue.

The fund, which will take money from charities, institutional investors and high net-worth individuals, is aiming to invest in social enterprises in the health and social care, environment, and employment and skills sectors.

It will invest between £100,000 and £500,000 in each business.

Nigel Kershaw, chief executive of Big Issue Invest, said that that fund was unusual in both the range of investors it hoped to attract and the products it would provide.

"We've attracted investment from charity, and we're negotiating with both a bank and a wealthy individual," he said. "We're looking to take in investment from a broad range of sources."

He said the new fund could provide cash for a variety of purposes, and would aim to provide the type of finance that would be most appropriate to the borrower.

"If we speak to a social enterprise, we can promise that we will find the best possible way of investing in it," he said.

He said the fund was intended to finance the growth of existing social enterprises, but would target early stage businesses if the business model was strong enough.