• The publication has partnered with the Social Enterprise Academy to produce an exclusive edition, giving young people a platform to raise awareness of the big issues they care about
  • Pupils at 14 schools across Scotland will be selling the special edition

Today (Monday, 18th March) children from 14 schools across Scotland will try their hand at selling a special edition of The Big Issue magazine, that some of their pupils took part in creating.

The Big Issue (TBI) and Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) have partnered to produce the special edition of the magazine, holding a creative session with 15 pupils aged 9 to 16 from 4 schools at their editorial headquarters, based on Bath Street in Glasgow on Tuesday 5th March. The result was a special, social enterprise inspired supplement, running in all copies of the Scottish edition, with additional copies being sold by children in 14 schools across Scotland on the day the magazine traditionally goes on sale.

The SEA, founded in 2007, run the Social Enterprise Schools programme, which gives students a hands-on experience in running a business with a social purpose. The SEA has now supported over 1,000 schools across Scotland to set up pupil-led social enterprises.

Russell Blackman, MD of The Big Issue, said: “We are so excited to be partnering with the Social Enterprise Academy.  It was brilliant to work so closely with an investee of our social investment arm, Big Issue Invest, in order to offer a truly special run of the magazine for our Scottish readers.

“The magazine has been written, edited and sold by the pupils – a reflection of the pupil-led nature of the schools programme that SEA runs so successfully, which empowers young people to take action about the social issues that matter to them.”

Neil McLean, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Academy, said: “The schools special magazine is giving Scotland’s young people a platform to shout about the issues that they care about – creatively showing how they are solving these issues by running their own sustainable social enterprises.

“Through taking part in Social Enterprise Schools, pupils are empowered to take action and affect real social change in their communities. As well as developing key employability and entrepreneurship skills for the future, our young people are inspiring other young people as far away as Australia, to develop socially entrepreneurial solutions to the challenges facing our world today.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available to buy across the UK for £2.50. The special edition will be available to buy from March 18th-24th in the following schools:

  • Bellahouston Academy, Glasgow
  • Carmunnock Primary School, Glasgow
  • Fortrose Academy, Highlands & Islands
  • Inverness High School, Highlands & Islands
  • Kilpatrick School, West Dunbartonshire
  • Kinlochleven High School, Highlands & Islands
  • Mary Russell School, Glasgow
  • Masterton Primary School, Fife
  • Milton of Leys Primary School, Highlands & Islands
  • Pirie Park Primary School, Glasgow
  • Pitcoudie Primary School, Fife
  • St Albert’s Primary School, Glasgow
  • St Joseph’s Primary School, Glasgow
  • Tulliallan Primary School, Fife

For more information visit: www.bigissue.com


For more information, please contact Ruth Law, Group PR Manager, on 020 7526 3381.

Notes to Editors

The Big Issue

  • The Big Issue is a social enterprise which exists to dismantle poverty through creating opportunities for people and communities.
  • The Big Issue is an award-winning weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, which offers a new hope for homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK. Vendors buy magazines for £1.25 and sell to the public for £2.50, keeping the difference. In this way the magazine provides them with the means to earn a legitimate income. In the run up to Christmas the magazine increases in size and the price rises to £3.
  • Vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face a range of issues, but all are experiencing the effects of poverty. Upon becoming a Big Issue vendor they receive training, are allocated a fixed pitch from which to vend, and must agree to adhere to a code of conduct whilst selling the magazine.
  • Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue magazine have been sold by over 100,000 vulnerable people.
  • Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue magazine, currently holds the position of Chair of PPA Scotland. He was named BSME’s British Editor of the Year in 2013 and 2016, and PPA Scotland Editor of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
  • The Big Issue Foundation is the organisation’s charitable arm, which exists to link vendors with the vital support which will help them address the issues which have led or contributed to their circumstances. The Foundation works exclusively with vendors, offering support, advice and referrals.
  • Big Issue Invest extends The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and charities across the UK. Big Issue Invest offers loans and investment from £20,000 to £3 million. Since launching in 2005, we have invested in over 330 organisations, all of which have positively influenced the lives of people across the UK. We currently manage or advise £170 million of social funds. Created by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs, Big Issue Invest is the world’s first ‘Social Merchant Bank’ and a stead-fast champion of social enterprise. For more information go to: bigissueinvest.com
  • For further information please go to bigissue.com

Social Enterprise Academy

  • The Social Enterprise Academy is Scotland’s leading learning and development organisation supporting people and organisations working for social change. As a social enterprise, it supports people to develop themselves, their teams and their organisations to create sustainable businesses and have greater social impact
  • Since starting in Scotland in 2004, the Social Enterprise Academy has replicated internationally and now has 12 country teams around the world; Australia, Canada, China, India, Malawi, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Scotland, South Africa, Wales, Zambia
  • Social Enterprise in Education, launched in 2007 as a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy and the Scottish Government, has now supported over 1,000 nurseries, schools and colleges across Scotland to set up pupil-led social enterprises (2007 – 2010)
  • 334 Social Enterprise in Education Awards have been presented to nurseries, schools and colleges across Scotland
  • 2,399 teachers and lecturers have taken part in CPD workshops understanding social enterprise
  • The Social Enterprise Academy has been tasked with leading on the Scottish Government’s goal of seeing a social enterprise in every school in Scotland as part of Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy (2016 – 2026)
  • Cabinet ministers, such as Deputy First Minister John Swinney, have presented at the annual Social Enterprise in Education Awards, showing their support for the programme
  • The first international replication of Social Enterprise Schools took place in Australia in 2016, where 13 schools took part in a pilot of the programme in rural-Victoria with Social Enterprise Academy local hub partner, ACRE
  • The first African replication of Social Enterprise Schools has recently been announced, with a pilot due to take place in Malawi in 2019, supported by the Scottish Government
  • For further information please go to socialenterprise.academy