Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, has invested £2.7m into 40 social enterprises and charities in the past six months.
The £2.7m comes from the Impact Loans England investment programme. The lending scheme is aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000 in 2016. A total of £3m has been committed of the £5m fund.
The programme is funded by Access - The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
The investments are supporting 53,000 beneficiaries and are responsible for the creation of 1,445 jobs.
Big Issue Invest has also revealed that 50 per cent of investee organisations are run by women.
The investments also encompassed a wide geographical spread, including investments in areas that have proved difficult to reach for other investors, including the East Midlands, the East of England and the North East.
Daniel Wilson-Dodd, head of lending at Big Issue Invest, said: “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small to medium-sized loans, so we set out to provide support for those social enterprises and charities making a genuine difference within their communities. We are so pleased that we have been able to provide support to 40 organisations in order for them to continue to keep doing the incredible work they do.”
“What is so exciting for us is that we have been able to commit twice as much money in our first 6 months as forecast (£3.5m vs £1.7m) and have invested in a fifth of the areas of greatest deprivation in the country. The reach of the programme has also been truly England- wide. Big Issue Invest seeks to dismantle poverty. Our investments empower and resource society to take responsibility for positive change and we are proud of what we have achieved in such a short amount of time.”
Investee organisations are from a wide variety of sectors, with organisations including conservation charity Barn Owl Centre, creative enterprise and arts organisation Bold Tendencies, and Mentis Tree, a social enterprise interested in mental health and wellbeing.