Socially-minded start-ups invited to apply to win share of £500,000

Big Issue Invest re-launches its Corporate Social Venturing Challenge “to propel social businesses to next level”

Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue, has today opened the second round of its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme, offering 10 early-stage social impact start-ups the chance to win up to £50,000 each.

Running for its second year, the CSV scheme looks to support enterprises “committed to creating social impact” within the fields of health, education, wellbeing, homelessness or the creative industries.

Open to social enterprises, charities, public sector spin-outs or any early-stage business with a social mission, the “intensive mentoring” programme is seeking 20 teams to join and will reward 10 finalists with up to £50,000 each and support from business experts.

The initiative is backed by Barclays and corporate partners Experian, First Ark, Fusion21, Places for People, and the University of Northampton, who will invest in,“support, and nurture” the teams to help grow and deliver sustainable social and financial returns.

The programme is also supported by the Cabinet Office as part of the government’s £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.”

Head of UK community investment at Barclays, Kathleen Britain, continued: “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.”

Deadlines for entries close on Monday 19 May, to apply click here.

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