Big Issue Invest’s Power Up Scotland announces the eight social ventures chosen to receive £500,000 of investment

On Friday 29th October, Big Issue Invest (BII) announced the eight social ventures which have been chosen to receive support from the Big Issue Invest’s Power Up Scotland scheme.  

Power Up Scotland is a lending scheme that offers investment, advice and support to early stage social ventures across Scotland. This year the scheme has been able to offer £500,000 worth of investment in total.  

The eight social ventures which will receive support from the Big Issue Invest scheme are: Ayrshire Women’s HubBikes For RefugeesBrave Strong BeautifulCoffee + ClayCommon Ground Against HomelessnessLochend Football AcademyMyPickle and Wee Seeds 

Big Issue Invest’s Power Up programme, launched in 2017, was opened to organisations across Scotland from July to September this year. The funding scheme aims to enable organisations to build on the good work they currently do within their communities. Whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans. Successful applicants receive mentoring and business development support to social ventures for the two-year period. 

The programme is funded by partners, abrdnUniversity of EdinburghExperianPlaces for People and the Scottish Government with legal support from Brodies LLP. 

Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “It is challenging as a social venture to secure early-stage funding. We are, therefore, so pleased, working with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to be able to support these organisations with the investment and business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference. 

We are incredibly excited about working with this year’s Power Up Scotland applicants. The work they do in their communities is incredible and it will be an honour to help them take this further.” 

Cat Divers, My Pickle CIC Founder and CEO, added: “Starting a social enterprise, particularly a not-for-profit, is extremely challenging and having access to expert advice, support and funding is critical. We are so grateful to be accepted onto this programme. My Pickle CIC is all about co-creating new solutions that help people, and particularly the most vulnerable in society, to find and access the support they need when they need it.  

“We want to see a world where anyone facing crisis can get the help they need when they need it, regardless of their location, finances or other personal circumstances.” 

Steven McCluskey, Founder and CEO of Bikes for Refugees, added: “Bikes for Refugees Scotland is very excited to be part of the Big Issue Power Up Scotland programme as we continue to meet the challenges of the pandemic and an increasing demand for our service from New Scots.  

“We have no doubts that this valuable programme will provide us with the much-needed support that we require at this pivotal stage in our growth and development as we aim to increase impact and become financially secure and sustainable in our work with refugees.” 

The programme has been designed for early stage social ventures, no matter whether it is just in the ideation phase or whether it has been trading for a couple of years, we are happy to help and offer support where needed. For many of the applicants this is the first time they have accessed finance.  

To read more about the fund please visit: https://www.bigissue.com/invest/investments/power-up-scotland-programme/ 

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