ONE of Scotland’s top universities is making what it describes as the largest-ever financial investment in social enterprise by a UK university.
The University of Edinburgh has announced it is investing £1 million in a new partnership that aims to break-down poverty and create opportunities for people and communities around Britain.
It will work with Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group, home to the street magazine of the same name.
The money will go in to Big Issue Invest’s social enterprise investment fund II (SEIF II).
Lesley McAra, the university’s assistant principal for community relations, said: “Social enterprises make a huge difference to communities in Edinburgh and beyond.
“As a university, we believe that it is our responsibility to use our financial power to deliver a positive impact for society. Supporting this fund is one way that helps us do just that.”
SEIF II invests in social enterprises and charities that are working to tackle tough social problems such as homelessness, social and financial exclusion, and youth unemployment.
The university said the investment is part of its commitment to making a “significant, sustainable, and socially responsible contribution” to Scotland and further afield.
Edward Siegel, managing director of Big Issue Invest, added: “The University of Edinburgh’s investments into Big Issue Invest are truly pioneering in terms of social impact investment coming from university endowments.
“We know that the stakeholders of these funds have been asking for some time to see the endowments generating positive social value as well as a financial return.
“We hope that the university’s investments into Big Issue Invest programmes open the door for other universities to follow suit.”
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