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Big Issue Invest Unveils Twelve Exciting Early Stage Investments

The Big Issue Invest initiative, in which Fusion21 has been a key player, has announced the 12 winners of its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) Challenge. 

This remarkable group of early-stage social ventures all demonstrated a passion and determination to create a profound social impact in the following areas:  educational opportunities, regional job creation, training and work placement for disadvantaged groups and health. Kathryn & Nikki of successful venture Digital Mums, are pictured (right). http://digitalmums.org/

The investment, along with continued guidance from corporate mentors, will take the working visions of this inspiring group of enterprises from the early stages to the next level of business, in turn allowing them to transform even more lives across the country.


Over 200 applications were received since the CSV Challenge began earlier this year.  Successful applicants were paired with mentors and received the opportunity to pitch for a £50,000 investment 
from the programme, funded by Fusion21 and corporate partners Barclays, Experian, First Ark, 
University of Northampton and Places for People with backing from the Social Incubator Fund (Cabinet Office).

The 12 successful ventures were chosen by an expert judging panel from a short-list of 15 who were invited to take part in the Caterpillars’ Cocoon event – a two-day pitching session held in Nottingham during  October.  The ventures that have received investment and ongoing support are:  Ayudante,  advent~age , Circle Sports, Digital Mums, Hereford CIC, House of St Barnabas, Mum’s the Chef, Now Press Play, ParentHub, SXT Health, Swarm Apprenticeships and Talentino.

Due to the high quality of the finalists, partners will continue to work with some ventures who did not receive investment at this time.

Dave Neilson, Chief Executive of Fusion21, said: “Not only has it been encouraging to see the spirit of social enterprise embedded in so many good ideas, but also the thought given to the impact on communities, which demonstrates how vibrant the concept of social value is to so many entrepreneurs. We are so proud to have been one of the main sponsors of this venture.”

James Fairweather, CEO of Big Issue Invest, remarked: ‘The enthusiasm and drive of these entrepreneurs coupled with the guidance and expertise of their corporate mentors has made this CSV Challenge a resounding success.’

The next round of CSV will be launching in the New Year.  Please visit the website http://bigissueinvest-csv.com  for further details about the programme or follow @BII_CSV on twitter for news and updates.

The Successful Ventures

Ayudante - http://www.ayudante.co.uk/
Advant~age - http://www.advant-age.co.uk/
Circle Sports - http://www.circlesports.org/
Digital Mums - http://digitalmums.org/
Hereford CIC - http://makecic.co.uk/
House of St Barnabas - http://hosb.org.uk/
Mum’s the Chef - http://www.mumsthechef.com/
Now Press Play - http://nowpressplay.co.uk/
ParentHub - http://www.parenthub.co.uk/
SXT Health - http://sxt.org.uk/
Swarm Apprentice - http://www.swarmapprentice.org.uk/
Talentino - http://www.talentinocareers.co.uk/