Big Issue Group reports extraordinary 58% growth in reach, as more people seek to engage with the organisation, during cost of living crisis

  • Big Issue Group makes strides towards ambitious goal, of 11million people every year engaging with its products and services by end of 2026.
  • Big Issue Group reach rises by an extraordinary 58% YOY during cost of living crisis, up from 4.7m to 7.4m
  • Organisation saw a 10% YOY increase of vendor numbers due to the cost of living crisis
  • £3.76 million was collectively earned by vendors in 2022
  • Organisation continues to innovate with further ventures to enable more people affected by poverty to earn, learn and thrive

Today (Thursday 18th May) the Big Issue Group (BIG), the leading social enterprise and B-Corp, has released its 2022 Group Impact Report.

The report shows that its products and services have reached 7.4 million people. A 58% increase YOY, as BIG reaches more people that are impacted by the cost of living crisis and those who want to support the people most affected by this crisis.

The report also showed that the number of vendors selling the magazine increased by 10% YOY, while collective earnings for vendors rose by 38% to £3.76m. There has been a 50% growth in readers, with audiences wanting to read more about the social issues of today.

Through the 132 investments made via Big Issue Invest, into social enterprises and charities in 2022, (BIG) has extended its core group mission through these investees, to support 2.1m people in the UK, with 92% of these investments contributing to creating core solutions to solving poverty.

The report revealed that demand for food and fuel support from vendors had increased sevenfold. With 14m people in the UK living in poverty[1], 9.7 million adults experiencing food insecurity[2] this year. 7.2m people going without basics, 4.7m people now behind on their bills[3] and 1.7 million people in the UK now facing financial destitution, or even worse, homelessness[4]. The economic landscape has indisputably had an impact on the numbers of people needing to turn to selling the magazine to make ends meet.

Which is why the organisation has bolstered support for its vendors, to ensure vendors are able to sell as many copies of the magazine as possible. Throughout 2022, BIG supported vendors with digital and financial inclusion programmes to increase earnings. 221 vendors were provided with Zettle card readers and 205 smartphones were given to vendors. 50% of Big Issue vendors in an average week are now able to accept cashless payments.

In addition to this sales support, 1,174 vendors were supported through the Big Issue Foundation frontline team to access services including housing, wellbeing, financial advice and support, employment pathways and food and fuel support.

The organisation has also innovated with ventures such as Big Issue Recruit (BIR), a person-centred recruitment service, dedicated to supporting people, including Big Issue vendors, who face barriers to work into sustainable employment.

Lord Bird, Founder of the Big Issue, said: “There are currently over 14m people trapped in poverty. Right now our work is needed more than ever with spiralling living costs, and continuing increases in poverty and hardship.

“In 2022, the number of Big Issue vendors increased by 10% because more people need an income or an additional source of income. We are fighting fires on all fronts and our report demonstrates that we are needed more than ever. Please keep supporting us, whether that’s buying or subscribing to the magazine, buying a product from our online shop, or partnering or investing with us, so we can continue to create opportunities and provide support for those who need it most.”

Paul Cheal, Big Issue Group CEO, said: “At the Big Issue Group, we change lives through enterprise. As increasing numbers of people are turning to us for support and to find out how they can help those most in need, we are continuing to innovate and develop new services, to bring about new economic opportunities for those people who are most marginalised in our society. We want to be there for as many people as possible in these uncertain times and we are proud that, in 2022 we have managed to more than double our reach.”

Join our movement and read the full report to find out more about our work and how you can support us to help those most in need today:

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