Fusion21 Invests £200,000 in Big Issue Invest Programme

National social enterprise Fusion21 has partnered with Big Issue Invest – investing £200,000 in its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme, which provides mentoring and financial support to early stage social businesses across the UK.

The initiative, run by Big Issue Invest – the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group – works alongside aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact in their communities.

As a leading investor in the current CSV programme, Fusion21 is providing both funding and business expertise to successful beneficiaries – including assistance with business planning, marketing, and social value advice.

Dave Neilson, Chief Executive at Fusion21 said: “Through our partnership with Big Issue Invest, we are nurturing a new generation of high-growth ventures, which can deliver both social and financial returns.

“This project enables us to act as a social investor within the communities of Fusion21 members – and aligns with our purpose as a social enterprise, as we continue to create and drive social impact in communities through investment and our own activities.”

John Montague, Managing Director of Big Issue Invest said: “Our partnership with Fusion21 has enabled us to offer real support and investment to social businesses that are making a significant difference to the wellbeing of people and communities across the UK.”

A total of £1,350,000 has been invested into the CSV programme since its launch in 2014. The programme has supported more than 30 social businesses such as Change Please, who train formerly homeless people to be baristas at coffee carts across London; Bite the Ballot, a business that tries to engage marginalised young people in politics; and Hospice Quality Partnership, who were recently awarded a runners-up honours at the Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards.

The Hospice Quality Partnership (HQP) was set up as an innovative, unique, commercial collaboration between local hospices, determined to maximise value for hospice care across the UK. Through collective buying and sharing of data, HQP is on target to save its 55 partners £1m in direct costs this year - enough to run an entire small day care hospice for a year.

Tracey O'Keefe, the Managing Director of HQP said: “The hospice sector faces unprecedented challenges due to rapidly rising demand, increasing complexity of care and inequality of access – but the Big Issue Invest CSV programme has made a huge difference to our ability to direct more funding to patients and their families.”

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Photo above: The social value created by Hospice Quality Partnership benefits people of all ages across hospices across the UK.