The Team

  • Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chief Executive

    Nigel Kershaw OBE is CEO of Big Issue Invest and Group Chairman of The Big Issue.

    Nigel is leading BII’s mission to create a Social Merchant Bank “By the social entrepreneurs – for the social entrepreneurs”. The bank will be driven by the social entrepreneurs and backed by the social financiers.

    Prior to joining The Big Issue in 1994 he worked as a systems analyst, project manager, litho printer and trade union official and founded three printing and publishing employee-owned social enterprises.

    Nigel is a Social Enterprise UK Ambassador, an Advisory Board member of Big Society Capital and is currently Social Enterprise UK’s ‘Champion of Champions’.

  • Sarah Forster, Director of Development

    Sarah joined Big Issue Invest in 2006 with a strong track record in social investment and economic development. She previously worked for the New Economics Foundation and the World Bank.

    For nine years to 2001, Sarah was at the World Bank working in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe with a specialisation in microfinance. She spent four years in Bosnia-Herzegovina where she led a £50 million microfinance investment fund providing risk capital and business support to start-up microfinance institutions, which today are serving large numbers of low-income people and providing financial returns to investors.

    From 2001-2004, Sarah was a Director at the New Economics Foundation (nef) where she headed nef's work on access to finance, social enterprise, and social return on investment. She was also Director of the Inner City 100 which championed entrepreneurship in the inner city.

    Sarah has served on the boards of several microfinance and social venture organisations.She has a Masters in Economic and Political Development from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and a BA in Law from Cambridge University.

  • Edward Siegel, Director of Investments

    Having spent the early part of his career in commercial banking and corporate finance, mainly with Credit Suisse, Ed spent the past twelve years with ShoreBank International (SBI) working on initiatives to improve access to finance around the world. SBI is the international consulting arm of ShoreBank Corporation, America’s oldest and largest community development bank.

    Ed was first introduced to Big Issue Invest when SBI was asked to help the company launch its first loan fund in 2004. Ed has made a career of finding innovative ways of providing finance to businesses deemed by traditional financial institutions to be too risky.

    In the developing world he has overseen the granting of thousands of loans to small businesses with no securable collateral or reliable financial accounts, and in the UK he has been a member of the Big Issue Invest Credit Committee since its inception and has been closely involved in the structuring of some of the more complex transactions it has undertaken.

    Ed has practiced skills in debt financing and experience in structuring and utilizing quasi-equity and equity finance instruments. At Credit Suisse, Ed worked on a variety of structured and subordinated debt financings and at Big Issue Invest he advised on the structuring of a revenue-linked financing for Belu Water, among others.

    From his time working with financial institutions around the world for SBI, Ed has experience with equity investment and governance issues from both the investor and investee as well as board rep perspectives. Ed has an MBA in Finance from New York University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Boston College.

  • Mike Baker, Director of Operations and Head of Credit

    Mike headed up TSELF for 8 years, and following its merger with Big Issue Invest, takes up the position of Director of Loans overseeing all loan applications.

    Mike headed up TSELF for 8 years, and following its merger with Big Issue Invest, takes up the position of Director of Loans overseeing all loan applications.

    Originally called the Local Investment Fund, TSELF was set up as a registered charity in 1994 to provide loan finance for charities and organisations with a charitable purpose, with the aim of overcoming the funding gap often experienced by social enterprises.

    In June 2012, TSELF merged with Big Issue Invest – the first merger in the sector between two Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs).

    Mike has a lifelong commitment to charities and social enterprises. He was a board member of King’s Cross SRB for seven years and is now on the boards of the CDFA and Adventure Capital Fund.

  • Ron Sheldon, Chairman of the Fund Investment Committee

    Ron Sheldon is a Managing Director at Advent International, an international private equity firm specialising in leveraged buy outs with in excess of $20 billion in committed capital. Ron has over 30 years private equity experience.  

    He has worked with Advent International for 15 years and represents the Advent International funds on various Investee Companies Boards. Until recently he was a member of their Investment Advisory Committee. Previously, he co-founded Trinity Venture Partners and had various investment roles at 3i over a 10 year period.

    He has recently been appointed a Director of Blue Sky Developments a social enterprise seeking to secure temporary employment for ex offenders and has also been a Non-Executive Director of the Greater London Enterprise board.

    Ron’s professional qualification is as a Chartered Accountant. Ron will also serve as chair the General Partner Board.

Latest News

  • Are you interested in working with us?

    We're looking for a Senior Investment Manager and Investment Analyst to join our growing team.

    Click here to find out how to apply and download the full job descriptions.


    Early stage social businesses across England are being challenged to apply for vital investment capital and business mentoring support that will potentially propel their ventures to the next level. 

    BII’s Corporate Social Venturing Challenge is back: £500,000 investment available for innovative early stage social businesses

    Click here to read more.


    New research suggests private equity can help to rebalance the UK economy, spreading growth and job opportunities more equally across regions and communities.

    The study was led by Mark Hepworth, head of research and policy for Big Issue Invest, contact:

    Click here to read more and download the full report. Read the Pioneers Post article here.

  • Big Issue Invest celebrate winning major national award

    The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, in partnership with the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), celebrate excellence in community finance.

    Photo copyright Chris Hughes.

    At the awards ceremony in Bristol, BII were named as the winner of the Community in Partnership award and were presented with a £20,000 prize.

    This award celebrates partnerships that have improved access to finance.  It recognised the achievement of BII in its work to tackle financial exclusion through the Rental Exchange initiative, in partnership with Experian. Click here to read more.


    Pioneering UK retail investment into social sector

    Threadneedle Investments (Threadneedle) announces it will launch the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund in partnership with Big Issue Invest.

    Click here to read more

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    Party on, Bard: Shakespeare, philosophy and the power of words 

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