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As far as small businesses are concerned, the banks are currently Public Enemy No. 1. However, it seems that Barclays is doing its bit to help mend the sector’s broken reputation. The bank will offer investments and mentoring to ten start-up social enterprises, having teamed up with Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of the Big Issue, on its Corporate Social Venturing Challenge (CSV).
As the main corporate sponsor of the initiative, Barclays will provide investment funding that will enable grants of up to £50,000 to be made to the ten businesses that are selected as the winners of the CSV Challenge. The winners will be chosen from a pool of 20 teams that will go through an intensive mentoring programme. The challenge comes as great news for early-stage social businesses, offering them an opportunity to connect with corporate entities, with the chance of gaining investments and invaluable mentoring.
“Our partnership with Big Issue Invest is an important part of Barclays’ broader commitment to impact five million young futures by 2015,” said Kathleen Britain, head of UK community investment for Barclays. “The CSV programme will help support a talented pool of people in developing the skills they need to fulfill their potential while adding real and significant value to society.”
To apply for the challenge the social enterprise must be at an early stage, delivering impact in the health, wellbeing, education, homelessness or creative industries. If you are part of an enthusiastic social enterprise and want a shot at an investment opportunity, we’d recommend visiting www.bigissueinvest-csv.com. The deadline for applications is Monday May 19.
We’re pretty big fans of social enterprises here at Elite Business so this scheme is certainly right up our street.