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£500,000 investment available for innovative early stage social businesses in Yorkshire

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Early stage social businesses in the Yorkshire are being challenged to apply for vital investment capital and business mentoring support that will potentially propel their ventures to the next level.

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.

Now open, 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, 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 Monday 19 May 2014 at 17:00GMT.

The initiative is an innovative partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays, with investment and support from five partners: 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.

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.”

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 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.”

The CSV programme is an innovative way to connect corporate entities with entrepreneurs creating social value on a sustainable basis. Corporate partners invest in and mentor early stage businesses tackling some of the toughest challenges in society.

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 programme is designed to ensure a sustainable flow of investment capital and business support to early-stage initiatives looking to step up to the next level and deliver greater social value in the long term. As well as clear benefits to the enterprises involved and the communities they serve, corporate partners will also gain access to Big Issue Invest’s proven expertise in selecting, financing, and supporting social ventures.

 

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