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Foundervine, a social enterprise that supports young entrepreneurs from under represented communities in business, has secured £127,000 from Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of Big Issue Group.

Frustrated by a lack of diversity, Foundervine are on a mission to remove barriers to entrepreneurship and build the greatest network of digitally enabled businesses in the world.

The organisation has supported over 5,000 diverse-led ventures to start and scale through training, space, networks and access to capital.

Foundervine’s vision is to build a world with no social or economic barriers to innovation. It aims to increase opportunities for emerging ventures, That includes providing access to networks and it acts as a voice for overlooked founders, creators and innovators in the UK and beyond.

The funding from Big Issue Invest will primarily be used to invest in new and current staff at Foundervine, which will help the organisation support even more people. Amongst the new hires is a dedicated business development person to focus specifically on making and closing deals in support of the senior leadership, enabling them to proactively partner with new organisations that support their vision.

Foundervine is led by Izzy Obeng, who was named Forbes’ 30 under 30, for Social Impact in Europe in 2022. She said:

“Our team and vision have been given a major boost. In an era where support for diverse-led start-ups and entrepreneurs is ever more crucial, we are thankful for Big Issue Invest’s dedication to empowering underserved individuals and creating a more fair and resilient future.”

Linda Wickstrom, Investment Manager at Big Issue Invest, said:

“Entrepreneurship is incredibly important for the UK economy, and presently there are far too many barriers to equality for diverse business owners – with Black business owners currently having median turnover of just £25,000, compared to £35,000 for White business owners. Foundervine exists to put an end to this inequality.”

Since launching in 2018, Foundervine has partnered with private and public sector partners to accelerate the growth of new, diverse-led ventures in Europe. The organisation delivers accelerator programmes in the UK that support early-stage companies, providing entrepreneurs with mentorship, training and financial support. Foundervine transforms society by making innovation open to anyone, anywhere.

Photo: Foundervine/Big Issue Invest