Big Issue Invest (BII), the investment arm of the Big Issue Group (BIG), has opened up applications for a new investment programme, aimed at 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 access 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.
Gretel Dixon, Accelerator & Investment Manager of Big Issue Invest, said: “Securing early-stage funding for social ventures is a challenging task. Through Power Up London, we will be able to provide much needed funding and wrap-around support to help them become financially sustainable and grow. We are excited to partner with the Greater London Authority in the delivery of this programme, and hope it will enable many social ventures to increase the impact they have in their communities”.
The year- long programme will be delivered in two cohorts, with up to 20 organisations per cohort:
- Cohort 1 will run from 13 November 2023 to 1 March 2024.
- Cohort 2 will run from 15 April 2024 to 22 July 2024.
BII is currently calling for applications from eligible organisations for cohort 1 before the closing date of Monday 23 October.
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 3 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.