For part two of our series of 30 moments, we move from celebrity birthday parties to business investment to Street Cat Bob. A whistlestop tour of the diverse impact that The Big Issue has had over the past 30 years. Check out part one here.
10) Shane Richie’s birthday party
When Shane Richie turned 40, he threw a huge party, full of famous faces. The actor was at the height of his EastEnders fame, but turned down six-figure offers from other magazines in favour of offering the exclusive images to The Big Issue.
“You know I was homeless for a while,” he recalled. “I remember OK! magazine were going to pay me hundreds of thousands for the exclusive. This was at the height of Kat and Alfie, and they knew I knew Elton John and people like that.
“I think a vodka company wanted to sponsor it so they needed pictures. I sat down and said, let’s shelve it. I will pay for it. But we wanted someone to benefit – so we came up with a £1.10 fee. One pound – that was my fee – and 10p for my manager’s commission. [The Big Issue] sent me a cheque for £1.10. And they could get money by selling the pictures to the newspapers.”
From just £3 per week
11) Big Issue Invest
Founded in 2005, Big Issue Invest was a natural extension of The Big Issue’s mission. While the magazine helps vendors start their own micro-business, Big Issue Invest provides funding to organisations with a social purpose to help their growth and sustainability.
Big Issue Invest offers social enterprises, charities and profit-with-purpose businesses loans and investment from £20,000 to £3m. Since 2005 it has invested in more than 400 social enterprises and charities across the UK.