Big Issue Invest has benefitted from a £325k investment boost from The Places Foundation to support up to 20 social enterprises in England and Scotland over the next five years. 

The first round of investment has, in turn, been distributed by Big Issue Invest to nine social enterprises to support them in tackling a range of social issues including young people’s mental health, youth inclusion and social isolation.

For example, Hey Girls, a Scottish based social enterprise tackling period poverty through the distribution of free sanitary products was one of the successful recipients.

Support communities

Established in 2017, Hey Girls tackles period poverty by giving a girl or woman one pack of products for every pack bought. Over 137,000 children in the UK missed school due to period poverty in 2018. 1 in 10 girls have had to improvise sanitary wear due to affordability issues. In the past twelve months they have donate 2.4 million products.

Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls said “We are delighted to receive support from Big Issue Invest which will enable the company to grow and expanded our social reach. The support both financial and non-financial has been fundamental to our achievements to date”.

Danyal Sattar, CEO at Big Issue Invest, said “It is great to be working alongside Places for People. This is a new and exciting relationship which gives us the opportunity to reach and support more communities across the UK. As part of the Big Issue Group with a focus on homelessness we recognise the important role housing associations play in helping to turn around disadvantaged communities. This is a partnership which focuses on the core social mission of both our organisations”.

Making a difference

Marcus Hulme, Social Value Director, Places for People said: ‘Our partnership with Big Issue Invest enables us to provide additional finance to support a wide range of social enterprises that use creative approaches to make a real difference to their communities. The Places Foundation which is supported by the Places for People Group aims to help people to fulfil their potential. The additional finance will be used by Big Issue Invest to provide loans for up to 20 social enterprises over the next five years. The investment builds on our existing commitment to the Corporate Social Venturing programme which has been a great success’.

Other supported social enterprises include:

  • Talking Mats, that provides tools, training and research for speech therapists received £75K.
  • £40k -Link Redcar CIC based in Redcar which provides therapeutic services to children, young people and families across the North East
  • £150k - FC United of Manchester is a community benefit society football club owned by members.
  • £75k - A Place to Call Our Own is an independent special school and alternative education provider
  • £257k – Wolverton Community Energy is a community benefit society based near Milton Keynes.
  • £55k - Campus Skate Park in Bristol.
  • £135k - Running Deer, Devon based, set up to support long term unemployed people.

For more information, visit bigissueinvest.com.