James Caan appointed chairman of The Big Issue

Dragons’ Den star appointed to lead new initiatives for the social business


James Caan, the entrepreneur, investor and Dragons’ Den star, is to become chairman of The Big Issue, the social business which supports homeless people.

Caan is to join the publication to help increase its online exposure, explore new revenue streams and stimulate corporate giving through subscriptions and donations to The Big Issue Foundation.

The magazine, which is sold on streets across the UK by the homeless and has a circulation of 147,000 copies a week, generated £8m for its vendors last year.

Caan said: “The Big Issue embodies my firm belief that we all need a helping hand sometimes. I identify with building something from nothing and the organisation’s principle of giving a hand up, rather than a hand out, resonates with me on many levels.”

John Bird, The Big Issue’s founder, said: “James is one of UK business’ leading lights so I have no doubt that he’ll be a fantastic addition to our board. 18 years since I launched The Big Issue it remains a ground breaking initiative and unique business proposition so we hope James will find working with us challenging, exciting and enlightening.”

The magazine already circulates in Australia, Japan and South Africa, and plans are in place to launch in India and Pakistan next year.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2009

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