Investors call for the next government to unlock private investment to drive growth and reduce poverty


Big Society Capital, Big Issue Invest and 34 other organisations have called for the next government to implement a series of proposals which would direct £ billions of private investment into driving growth and eliminating poverty across the UK.

In a letter published in the Financial Times, the 36 organisations call for the following urgent actions to provide more ways for private investors to use their capital for national good alongside taxpayer revenues.

  • Launch a national growth fund, to attract pension capital and other institutional investment into critical sectors for the UK’s prosperity and well-being.
  • Create a Local Community Growth Fund, to use current government spending to attract private investment into growth opportunities identified by communities across the UK.
  • Introduce incentives which encourage investors, whether banks, pension funds or foundations, to invest for long-term sustainable and inclusive growth, including:
  1. revising its guidance on fiduciary duty, to allow and encourage institutional investors such as pension funds to direct more of their assets into inclusive growth opportunities across the UK.
  2. actively encouraging trusts and foundations to invest a percentage of their assets in investments to encourage long-term economic and social value as well as a financial return.
  • Improve financial inclusion and access to fair banking by establishing a Financial Inclusion Taskforce,
  • Spend smarter to mobilise private investment for more cost-effective delivery of public services for example to reduce NHS waiting lists.

Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of the Big Issue Group and co-founder of Big Issue Invest: “There are currently more than 13 million people living in poverty, 1 in 5 of the UK population. Of these, nearly 4 million are classed as ‘destitute,’ meaning they do not have access to basics like shelter, food, clothing, or toiletries. It is time for our next government to focus on prevention, in order to remedy this unacceptable and worsening situation through more private as well as public investment.”

Stephen Muers, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital: “The UK desperately needs more investment, which is chronically low compared to our competitors. There is a huge opportunity to channel more private as well as public money into investments which improve people’s lives across the UK and drive genuinely sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as delivering a financial return.”

Using calculations of institutional investment available, as well as the track record on specific projects Big Society Capital and Big Issue Invest have delivered over the last two decades, the measures proposed could mobilise up to £50bn of new private investment into driving growth in the first decade of a new government, increasing opportunity and tackling poverty.

Implementing these measures would not only grow the economy and save taxpayers money but would also benefit communities in multiple ways, including by creating thousands of jobs where they are most needed, preventing thousands of children from going into care and keeping families together, and helping hundreds of thousands of people at risk of developing long-term health conditions.

Big Society Capital, Big Issue Invest and the other signatories to the letter represent organisations with a proven track record in attracting investment into the places that need it most, to address pressing challenges, such as providing social housing or early years education, as well as generating a financial return.


For press enquiries, please contact James Barker ( 07429 342292) or Caroline Hailstone ( 07885 879500)

Notes to Editors

Spokespeople available:

Stephen Muers, Chief Executive, Big Society Capital (contact, 07885 879500)

Sarah Gordon, Advisor to Big Society Capital and the Big Issue Group, Visiting Professor in Practice, London School of Economics (contact Ruth Law on 07429 342292 or

Letter signatories:

The Lord John Bird MBE, Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, Big Issue; Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chair, Big Issue Group; Robin Hindle Fisher OBE, Chair, Big Society Capital; Stephen Muers, CEO, Big Society Capital; Daniela Barone Soares, CEO, Snowball Impact Investment; Stephen Bediako OBE, Founder, Black Global Trust; Co-Founder Pathway Fund; Mark Bickford, CEO, Social and Sustainable Capital; Jonathan Bland, Founder, E3M; Kieron Boyle, CEO, Impact Investing Institute; Daniel Brewer, CEO, Resonance; Conor Burke, CEO, Urgent Health UK; Bonnie Chiu, Managing Director, The Social Investment Consultancy; Amy Clarke, Co-founder, Tribe Impact Capital; Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE, Chair, Place Matters; Jon Coker, General Partner & Founder, Eka Ventures; Tim Davies-Pugh, CEO, Power to Change; Seb Elsworth MBE, CEO, Access – The Foundation for Social Investment; Jean de Fougerolles, Managing Partner & Founder, Ascension; Arvinda Gohil OBE, Chair, Future Economy Alliance; Ravi Gurumurthy, Group CEO, Nesta; Theodora Hadjimichael, CEO, and Peter Udale, Chair, Responsible Finance; Mila Lukic, CEO, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships; Paul Miller OBE, Managing Partner and CEO, Bethnal Green Ventures; Dave Neilson, CEO, Fusion21; Mark Norbury, CEO, UnLtd; Kunle Olulode MBE, Director, Voice4Change England; Ishita Ranjan, Project Director, Good Finance; Ed Rowberry, CEO, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital; Edward Siegel, CEO, Charity Bank; Mark Simms, CEO, P3 Charity; Matt Smith CBE, CEO, Key Fund; Adam Swersky, CEO, Social Finance; Nick Temple, CEO, Social Investment Business; Danielle Walker-Palmour, Director, Friends Provident Foundation; Check Warner MBE, Co-Founding Partner Ada Ventures; Co-Founder Diversity VC; Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK; Bethan Webber, CEO, Cwmpas; Dilys Winterkorn, Director, Pathway Fund

About Big Society Capital: Big Society Capital is the UK’s leading social impact investor. Our mission is to grow the amount of money invested in tackling social issues and inequalities in the UK. We do this by investing our own capital and helping others invest for impact too.

Since 2012, we have helped build a market that has directed more than £9 billion into social purpose organisations tackling issues from homelessness and mental health to childhood obesity and fuel poverty, a ten-fold increase in ten years.

Web: X: @BigSocietyCap  LinkedIn: Big Society Capital

About Big Issue Invest: Big Issue Invest (BII), Big Issue Group’s social investment arm, founded in 2005, offers loans and investment from £20,000 to £4 million to social enterprises and charities across the UK. Since 2005, BII has provided over £80 million in impact loans to more than 550 organisations and has outstanding assets under management of £45 million. In 2023, BII invested in 140 organisations, and 1.5 million people were supported by in turn by investees. The capital raised by BII is from private sources and not from sales of the magazine.

Web:    X: @bigissueinvest  Facebook:

About the Big Issue Group: Big Issue Group is a social enterprise whose mission is to create innovative solutions through enterprise that unlock social and economic opportunities for people trapped in poverty. The Big Issue Group is deliberately constructed to create the greatest level of positive impact for individuals, organisations and communities through alignment to a shared mission. Big Issue Group consists of a number of different entities: Big Issue Media, Big Issue Changing Lives Community Interest Company, Big Issue Invest, Big Issue Group Impact Advisory, Big Issue Shop, Big Issue Recruit, Lord John Bird’s parliamentary office, and Big Exchange.

For further information on the Big Issue Group visit About Big Issue Group