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Big Issue Invest ready to challenge again with £500,000

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Big Issue Invest ready to challenge again with £500,000

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Housing

Wine company defends controversial sponsorship of the Big Issue Wine company defends controversial sponsorship of the Big Issue

Early stage social businesses across England are being challenged by the social investment arm of The Big Issue to apply for investment capital and business mentoring support "that will potentially propel their ventures to the next level" with up to £500,000 available. 

Big Issue Invest has opened a second round of its corporate social venturing (CSV) programme which uses corporate partners to invest in, support and nurture a new generation of high potential social businesses to grow and deliver sustainable social and financial returns.

The CSV Challenge is seeking up to 20 teams for an intensive mentoring programme. At the end, 10 finalists will be chosen to receive an investment of up to £50,000 each, as well as ongoing support.

Big Issue Invest helps scale up social enterprises and charities throughout the UK by providing loans and investments, from £50,000 to £1 million.

Nigel Kershaw, CEO of Big Issue Invest and chair of Big Issue, said: "The corporate social venturing programme is core to The Big Issue’s mission. We don’t want people ending up on the streets and that’s why we’re investing in brilliant social ventures that create jobs, training, accommodation and wellbeing. It’s all about prevention.

"The relationship we have with our corporate partners is not some fly-by-night 'social wash' - it’s for real. They are putting in their own money and time to nurture these social ventures in the long term."

Social enterprises, charities, public sector spin-outs or any business with a social mission are encouraged to apply. To be considered for investment, ventures must be able to deliver high social impact, have a track record and ambitious development plan, working in the fields of health, education, wellbeing, homelessness or the creative industries.

Interested social businesses should visit www.bigissueinvest-csv.com to apply. Deadline for applications is 19 May.

The initiative is a partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays, with investment and support from Experian, First Ark, Fusion21, Places for People and The University of Northampton. The challenge is also supported by the Cabinet Office, as part of the £10m social investment fund.

Kathleen Britain, head of UK community investment at Barclays, said: "Our partnership with Big Issue Invest is an important part of Barclays’ broader commitment to impact five million young futures by 2015."

This is the second CSV initiative run by Big Issue Invest, with another programme due to launch in autumn 2014, when a further £500,000 will be available for investees. The CSV Challenge will see an overall £2m worth of investment and support.


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