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Big Issue Group launches bold new five-year strategy and new impact goals

Big Issue Group has revealed its exciting new rebrand and ambitious five-year strategy, which will reflect the organisation’s response to the huge challenges faced by the rapidly growing number of people living in poverty across the UK.

The Group has also published a comprehensive impact report detailing the impact it has had over the last 30 years.

The organisation is rebranding as ‘Big Issue Group’ and launching a new mission and five-year strategy to create innovative solutions through enterprise, to unlock social and economic opportunity for the millions of people trapped in poverty in the UK.

As a part of its new strategy and rebranding, Big Issue Group will also be launching a new value proposition of ‘Changing Lives Through Enterprise’. Big Issue Group intends to harness its 30 years’ experience of helping marginalised people in the UK to earn an income and extend this to a greater number of people in the UK.

The new focus comes as employers are struggling to fill 1.3m vacancies yet, despite the fact there are around 1.26 million people currently unemployed. At a time when there are 14.5m people living in relative poverty, it highlights the vital role that upskilling and training opportunities could play in ensuring people are kept from falling into destitution or losing their homes.

The new Group Impact Goal sets out that by 2027, the organisation aims for up to 11 million people every year to engage with and be positively impacted by Big Issue Group products and services, whether it be supporting the social enterprises it invests in; being part of the positive outcomes and policy changes it campaigns for; or directly benefitting from its dynamic and enterprising programmes of work. And for the first time, the organisation has published a comprehensive Group Impact Report, which looks at the impact the organisation has had over the last 30 years and lays out its new five-year Impact goal.

In order to deliver against this new mission and impact goal, Big Issue Group will be diversifying to launch new programmes and ventures and all work will be focused around three guiding pillars – Innovation, Investment and Prevention. Which will be driven forward across Big Issue Group which comprises of Big Issue Media including Big Issue Magazine, Big Issue Invest, Big Issue E-Bikes, Big Issue Foundation and Big Issue Shop.

This will also see Big Issue Group bring in two new Ambassadors – Jack Parsons, CEO of The Youth Group the UK’s Chief Youth Officer and judge of the Business Champion Awards, and Sherrie Silver, globally renowned choreographer, creative entrepreneur and campaigner. The new Ambassadors will be focused on supporting Big Issue Group to develop Big Issue Recruit, launching this Autumn. Aimed at those who face barriers to employment, it will be a person-centred recruitment service that will support marginalised people to find sustainable employment through skills, training and development. And once in roles continue to support them.

The rebranding has been led by pro bono agency partner to the Big Issue Group Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), a global branding agency based in London, Shanghai and New York. The Group also received support to deliver the roll out of the rebrand from other top agencies including FCB Inferno, 10up, december19, Rocketmill and Bold.

Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “This ambitious new five-year strategy is an important next step for Big Issue Group. With greater challenges on the horizon, we have made sure we are adapting to support as many people as possible through this difficult time.

“Our Group Impact Report shows the huge impact we have already have, across all parts of the organisation, including at Big Issue Invest, where we have supported more than 500 social enterprises since 2005. I am excited to see the amazing work we do over the next five!”

Steve Clarke, Big Issue Invest investee, and co-owner and founder of Café Van Gogh in Brixton, said: “As a social enterprise it was incredibly hard to secure investment, but Big Issue Invest gave me the funding which enabled me to make my dream a reality. We put ethical decisions and community at the heart of what we do, not profit. We run a programme of on-the-job training and offer employment opportunities to people with additional challenges in life, such as a learning disability or a mental health problem to provide them with the support and confidence to thrive.”

Paul Cheal, CEO of Big Issue Group, said: “Most people readily associate the Big Issue with marginalised people selling a magazine on the streets. Over the last 30 years, we have enabled over 100,000 people to earn over £144m in collective income.

“But there is so much more to the Big Issue. Our business is changing lives. Our new five-year strategy brings all our work together. From our work in the social investment sector through Big Issue Invest, supporting more than 500 social enterprises since 2005 to new partnerships such as the launch of a fleet of Big Issue eBikes in Bristol to create jobs in local communities for marginalised people. To our vendor support programmes, parliamentary campaigns and campaigning journalism. To achieve our new mission, we must expand our service offer to reach and deliver impact to as many people as we can.

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