Since its launch in January 2017, Impact Loans England has invested over £6m supporting 104 social enterprises.
The investments have been across the UK including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bradford, Sunderland and York. Rural areas such as Hexham, Derbyshire and Cumbria have also benefited from investment. 8% of those receiving investment were BME- led organisations, 45% of investees were new to social investment and 48% were women-led organisations.
Daniel Wilson-Dodd, Deputy CEO, BII, said:
Our key goal with the extended programme is to ensure that social investment reaches charities and social enterprises which have in the past found the process of applying challenging or off-putting. We want to reach social enterprises which are smaller in scale, BME and women-led, regional and unable to secure repayable finance through main stream sources. Our focus is on inclusion and impact. We have made a good start and believe we can achieve more.
Impact Loans England is available to organisations across England looking for unsecured repayable finance between £10k-£150k. The funding is available to organisations keen to do more of the good work they do – whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans.
One of the first recipients of Impact Loans England was Redcar- based social enterprise The Link, who received a loan of £40k. The Link provides mental health services to vulnerable young people.
Tina Jackson, founder of The Link, said:
We contacted Big Issue Invest in February 2017, it was the best thing we could have done. They have been brilliant not only helping us with finance but wider organisational support. Without support from BII our service would not be here. They have supported us through a difficult period and were the only organisation willing to do this with cash and support.
Big Issue Invest launched Impact Loans England, a lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £10,000 and £150,000 in 2016.
Impact Loans England was designed for small to medium charities and social enterprises, many of which are accessing finance for the first time. The scheme builds on Big Issue Invest’s significant expertise in social enterprise investment, which since its launch in 2005 has seen the organisation directly invest in over 330 social businesses.
Applications for Impact Loans England are now open.