Press Release 26 June 2012 Big Issue Invest and TSELF join forces
Merger to create one of the UK's largest social investment intermediaries with a mission 'to dismantle poverty'
26 June 2012
Big Issue Invest and TSELF join forces
Merger to create one of the UK’s largest social investment intermediaries with a mission ‘to dismantle poverty’
Today, two of the UK’s leading social investors, Big Issue Invest and TSELF, announce they have merged – the first merger in the sector between two Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). Both organisations have a strong track record of investing and making loans to social enterprises and charities. The merger provides a platform for growth and allows for a combined total of £8m to be immediately available for investment as individual loans or equity-like investment in amounts ranging from £50,000 to £1m.
To date, Big Issue Invest (BII) and TSELF (The Social Investment Loan Fund) have invested in 185 enterprises and disbursed over £18.5m in loans and investments. Nigel Kershaw, CEO, BII, said: “Both organisations have the same mission – to dismantle poverty and inequality, and we do this by investing in social enterprises and charities providing sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges. We owe a debt of thanks to all those social enterprises that have come to us for finance. As TSELF and Big Issue Invest are social enterprises ourselves this has allowed us to reinvest even more into the sector rather than pay out dividends and bonuses.
“The Big Issue Invest TSELF merger naturally followed from a working partnership which highlighted some obvious advantages to combining the businesses. It makes sense to join forces, allowing us to broaden and strengthen our offering. This means a greater range of expertise, flexibility and most importantly impact. It will also allow us to attract additional funding into the sector.”
Mike Baker, CEO, TSELF, said: “Through our extensive track record of investing in organisations working in disadvantaged communities across the UK, TSELF has developed strong regional knowledge of what financial support is needed and what works. Working together with BII will allow us to continue to grow and share that knowledge and better serve the social enterprise and charity sectors.”
The merger of Big Issue Invest and TSELF provides a first port of call for social enterprises and charities looking for social investment.
TSELF will now operate as part of Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue.
For further information, please contact Helen Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jessica Stacey (email@example.com) or telephone 020 8553 8893.
About Big Issue Invest
Big Issue Invest (BII) is the social investment arm of The Big Issue. Our mission – to dismantle poverty and inequality by investing in business solutions to social and environmental challenges. We help scale up social enterprises and charities throughout the UK by providing loans and investments from £50,000 to £1m. We are led by social entrepreneurs and experienced social financiers who have first hand experience of building and running social businesses in both good and difficult times.
Big issue Invest website
Originally called the Local Investment Fund, we were set up in 1995 by the then Department for Employment, Transport and the Regions, Business in the Community and the private sector, led by NatWest, with the aim of overcoming the funding gap often experienced by social enterprises and charities. Our various regional funds were called Community Loan Funds.
Since then, we have worked with several of the English Regional Development Agencies and a number of private sector organisations. In April 2008 we changed our name to The Social Enterprise Loan Fund to ensure our name represented what our organisation was about. In June 2012, TSELF became part of the Big Issue Invest Group, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, and one of the UK’s leading providers of finance to social enterprises, charities and businesses that are socially-driven.