Big Issue Invest cooks up flotation plans

PART of the business behind The Big Issue magazine is mulling over a stock market flotation as early as next year.

Nigel Kershaw – the chief executive of Big Issue Invest, which pumps money into companies that “create social and environmental transformation” – is considering launching an investment trust valued at between £35 million and £50m. The company – which has provided funding for a range of businesses, including Fifteen, the restaurant group set up by television chef Jamie Oliver to provide apprenticeships – was launched in 2005.

Big Issue Invest will typically pump up to £500,000 into social enterprises and other businesses through loans or by taking an equity stake.

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Syndicates are usually formed with other investors to allow the company to take part in larger funding deals.

Kershaw said: “Big Issue Invest has a vision for investment in the UK that is about backing businesses and entrepreneurs that are creating social and financial profit rather than the current social loss.”

Other bodies to have benefited from Big Issue cash include children’s charity Barnardo’s.