Big Issue Invest’s total assets under management and advisory reached over £200 million at the end of March 2020, it has revealed in its Impact Report 2020.
The investor launched the report in December, marking 10 years since the launch of its first ever investment fund.
It also reveals that between April 2019 and March 2020, Big Issue Invest supported 160 investees with a total of £41.7 million, and in turn, collectively, these social enterprises were able to provide services to over 1 million customers in the UK that are often marginalised from mainstream support and opportunities or live in the most deprived areas.
The Impact Report documents BII’s collaborative work, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. BII worked with The National Lottery Community Fund to provide £3.2 million of grant funding to 118 grantees across England, while partnering with Social Investment Business to deliver the ‘Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund’, BII worked with 14 social enterprises to access over £4.1 million of investment out of a total £12 million given from the UK Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Five additional applications are still in progress.
The report also includes BII’s own diversity, equality and inclusion findings. In its portfolio BII found that women-led organisations made up 69% of investees, while over 50% of leaders receiving investment had lived experience of social challenges. However, Black-led organisations are underrepresented, making up only 2% of leaders/founders, whilst disability was the characteristic least likely to be measured. BII is to make these findings the basis of a 2021 diversity, equality and inclusion strategy. The organisation has also published gender pay gap data for the first time.
St Helena’s Hospice is one of the social enterprises supported by Big Issue Invest. BII is helping the hospice grow its lottery business and hospice provision through a £1.5 million commitment out of its Social Enterprise Investment Fund II.
Brian Bolt from St Helena’s Hospice, said:
“The investment from Big Issue Invest has enabled St. Helena’s to achieve its ambition of accelerating the pace and scale of our lottery partnership offer. We now provide lotteries for 20 different charities across England and Wales raising funds for St Helena to help local people facing incurable illness and bereavement, but also generating financial returns for 20 other diverse good causes. In addition to the funding, the team at BII provided invaluable advice and support in developing the business case and helping us as an organisation to further strengthen our governance, including moving to a risk-based reserves policy.”
Other social enterprises supported by BII include the Mental Health and Employment Partnership (MHEP). MHEP received £1.7 million investment and have supported over 1,000 people with severe mental illnesses, drug and alcohol addictions, or learning disabilities into paid employment. 100 people gained employment during the pandemic.
YMCA Cornwall received £150,000 of investment to provide homes for the vulnerable young people and Five Lamps Trading received £1.25 million to support them in boosting financial inclusion through affordable short-term credit.
Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said:
“In the worst recession and pandemic in modern history, our social enterprise and charity sector has responded brilliantly. Even while their own income fell, organisations redirected themselves, innovated and changed, to do their absolute best to provide services to the people and communities they exist for. I am proud that we were able to support our sector by investing and granting more money this year than we ever have. That’s our job – getting money from those that have it, to those than need it.”
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