£500,000 investment available for innovative social businesses in Northamptonshire

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Social businesses in Northampton have the chance to apply for a slice of £500,000 investment.

Big Issue Invest, part of the Big Issue, has launched its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme. This uses corporate partners to provide mentoring and investment for enterprises committed to creating social impact across health, education, wellbeing, homelessness and the creative industries.

Now open, the CSV Challenge is seeking 20 teams for an intensive mentoring programme. At the end, 10 finalists will be chosen to receive an investment of up to £50,000 each, as well as on-going support.

The University of Northampton is urging Northamptonshire’s social enterprises, charities, public sector spin-outs or any business with a social mission to apply.

To be considered for investment, ventures must be able to deliver high social impact and have an ambitious development plan.

The initiative is an innovative partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays, with investment and support from five partners: Experian, First Ark, Fusion21, Places for People, and the University of Northampton.

The Challenge is also supported by the Cabinet Office, as part of the £10m Social Investment Fund.

Nigel Kershaw, CEO of Big Issue Invest and Chair of Big Issue, said: “The CSV programme is core to the Big Issue’s mission. We don’t want people ending up on the streets and that’s why we’re investing in brilliant social ventures that create jobs, training, accommodation and wellbeing. It’s all about prevention.

“Our corporate partners are putting in their own money and time to nurture these social ventures in the long term.”

Professor Simon Denny, Director of Enterprise, Development and Social Impact at the University of Northampton said: “The University of Northampton is delighted to be a key partner in the Big Issue Invest Corporate Social Venturing fund.

“The funding stream will invest in high quality, sustainable social ventures many of which we hope will be in Northamptonshire.”

Interested social businesses should visit www.bigissueinvest-csv.com to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, May 19 at 5pm.