Barking and Dagenham Giving (BD Giving), a community-led impact investment fund, contributed £250,000.

The announcement comes as the fund reached its second close and granted an additional £500,000 in investment to two social purpose companies, bringing the Fund’s total investments to £1m.

The Growth Impact Fund (GIF), created by Big Issue Invest (BIIFM) and UnLtd: The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, is a targeted £25m evergreen fund that invests in early and growth stage companies headed by underrepresented entrepreneurs.

In its most recent round of funding, GIF secured investment from Macquarie, which was drawn by its blend of allocating funds in an effective and organised way to social entrepreneurs with the least access to capital and a reasonable investment return.

They also received funding from BD Giving, which is striving to promote social entrepreneurs in Barking and Dagenham, London, and was interested in collaborating with GIF to establish a local network.

Susan Clear, director of social impact investing for the Macquarie Group Foundation said: “This is the first social impact investment the Foundation is making in the UK and demonstrates the expanding impact of our community efforts in this market.  With a focus on investing in organisations led by underserved entrepreneurs, the Growth Impact Fund aligns with the Foundation’s mission to drive social impact work for Macquarie, and support our people, businesses, and communities to build a better future.”

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Irina, Barking and Dagenham resident and Community Steering Group member commented: “When we had about twenty investment proposals to consider, we started to realise that the potential for learning and the relationship we could build were more important than we had initially thought. We chose Growth Impact Fund for our community because the investment felt more like a partnership.”

Sarah Faber, investment director at Big Issue Invest, added: “It’s a testament to the design and work behind the fund that we have attracted support from such varied funders from a global organisation like Macquarie to a local community organisation such as Barking and Dagenham Giving. Both funders care about the change we are looking to achieve and are keen to learn from our work.”

The Fund has invested £250,000 in Lightning Reach, a website that streamlines the process of finding and applying for a variety of individualised assistance services.

Over 60,000 users have enrolled with Lightning Reach, which has helped organise over £6m in grants for people in need.