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Two innovative organisations break new ground with pioneering £200k


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Two innovative organisations break new ground with pioneering £200k

Big Issue Invest (BII), part of The Big Issue group of companies, has announced a pioneering £200,000 investment in shares of the award winning My Time CIC a Community Interest Company.

Historically, investing equity into Community Interest Companies (CICs) or social

enterprises has been extremely difficult. However, BII and Birmingham based My

Time have worked in partnership to develop the first redeemable preference share

investment into a CIC or social enterprise, investing 200,000, £1 social shares in

return for a 35% stakeholding.

Ed Siegel, director of investments, BII, said: “The redeemable preference share

structure gives My Time the investment foundation it was seeking while providing BII

with an eventual exit without needing to rely on an uncertain future sale of the

shares to a third party.

“Our active investment approach also makes this more of a partnership than a simple

financial investment. We intend to support My Time however we can to meet its

social and financial objectives over the long term.”

At a time of public sector cuts, this investment will sustain 26 existing jobs and create

a further 10 – with additional jobs created across the UK in My Time social


Michael Lilley, the single parent dad who created the My Time concept in September

10 years ago, said: “My Time approached BII for financial support as we felt both

organisations’ approaches and principles were aligned. For example, My Time has

been extremely successful in engaging with individuals who are typically excluded

from mainstream mental health provision such as men, black or ethnic minorities,

and those for whom English is not their first language. We have also developed a

therapy model which is service user led, allowing individuals to have a say in the

service they receive, as well as being involved in the counselling of others.

“With the support of BII investment, My Time is looking to replicate its counselling

model by launching up to 10 franchises and, thereby, dramatically increasing the

numbers of individuals who will be able to receive effective therapy.”


My Time is also the first UK Community Interest Company to develop a model in

which three different groups of shareholders can come together, including service

users, local social organisations and social investment shareholders such as BIl.