Social investment arm of the Big Issue Group opens up applications for second cohort of social enterprises in London

Big Issue Invest (BII), the investment arm of the Big Issue Group (BIG), has opened up for applications to the second round of an investment programme, aimed at up to 20 new and early-stage social enterprises in London. 

Power Up London is an accelerator programme for London-based, diverse-led, early-stage socially impactful organisations addressing social and/or environmental issues and providing services to underrepresented communities.  

The programme is delivered by BII with funding by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda to invest in communities and support local businesses. 

Successful applicants will receive a fully funded package of non-financial support valued at £10,000 that includes a mix of mentoring, business support, training workshops and networking opportunities delivered weekly over four months. 

Participants will also benefit from introductions to other founders in the cohort, mentors, and investors. 

On successful completion of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to apply to a grant of up to £22,000 for their social enterprise, to be used for launching new products or services, expanding to new markets, or creating new jobs in their local communities. 

Carolina Cirillo, Programme Manager at Big Issue Invest, said: “If you are an impact-first early-stage social business in the Greater London area, we are calling on you to apply for this opportunity to elevate your organisation’s potential through our transformative programme.  

“We are excited to be able to offer the programme in partnership with the Greater London Authority and look forward to supporting social businesses to amplify their impact within their communities.”

The year- long programme launched in November with the first cohort, which will run until March. Cohort 2 will run from 15 April 2024 to 22 July 2024. BII is currently calling for applications from eligible organisations for cohort 2 before the closing date of 22 March 2024. 

Applicants should be based in Greater London, from initiatives, charities and social enterprises in the early stages of development (annual income must be below £500,000, registered within the last 5 years), led by or working with people from marginalised communities and aiming to grow their impact and business by creating new jobs, expanding to new markets, or developing new products or services. 

Visit to learn more.  

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