Big Issue Invest launches challenge to hjelp social enterprises

The Big Issue is looking for the best social enterprises to get thousands of pounds of support

Social enterprises in Kirklees have been invited to compete for thousands of pounds to invest in their activities.

Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue, has opened a second round of its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme.

The programme 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 on-going support.

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 and work in the fields of health, education, wellbeing, homelessness or the creative industries.

Interested social businesses should visit www.bigissueinvest-csv.com to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday, May 19, 2014.

The initiative is a partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays, with investment and support from five partners – Experian, First Ark, Fusion21, Places for People, and Northampton University. The Challenge is also supported by the Cabinet Office, as part of the £10m Social Investment Fund.

Nigel Kershaw, chief executive officer of Big Issue Invest and chairman 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.”

Kathleen Britain, head of UK community investment at Barclays, said: “This programme, one of many we run as part of our wider community investment work, will see Barclays invest not only money, but colleagues’ time and expertise in helping social enterprises develop and grow.

“The CSV programme will help support a talented pool of people in developing the skills they need to fulfil their potential while adding real and significant value to society.”

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