Nigel Kershaw OBE is a globally recognised social entrepreneur and impact investor, working across the financial, corporate and social enterprise sectors. He is a frequent keynote speaker at significant UK and global events.
He joined The Big Issue in 1994, becoming its CEO and Group Chair in 2000. He is the co-founder of both Big Issue Invest and The Big Exchange. Prior to joining The Big Issue, Nigel founded three printing and publishing co-operatives, and worked as a 4-colour litho-printer, project manager and trade union official.
Founded in 1991, The Big Issue is one of the world’s most successful and best-known social enterprises. More than 200 million copies of the magazine have been sold in the UK by over 100,000 homeless and vulnerable vendors, and it has inspired more than 100 similar publications around the world.
In 2004, Nigel, along with Lord John Bird, co-founder of The Big Issue, launched Big Issue Invest, a social merchant bank formed “by social entrepreneurs - for social entrepreneurs”, which has since invested in more than 450 social businesses across the UK. It currently manages or advises on over £400m of impact funds from its innovative early-stage social venture funds, loans and regulated investment funds.
Nigel led the pioneering work in public market impact funds, and in partnership with asset managers, co-founded the Columbia Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund, Standard Life Investment UK Equity Impact Employment Opportunities Fund, and the abrdn Multi-Asset Climate Solutions Fund. His team of industry experts is about to launch a Global Inclusive Growth Fund and is currently seeking a global partner for a Global Healthy Societies Fund.
Nigel co-founded The Big Exchange with a mission to ‘democratise’ capital. A transformative, fair, accessible, and transparent online investment platform for ordinary people, The Big Exchange provides access to social and environmental independently rated impact funds. Currently, it has 61 rated funds from 21 asset managers who together manage over £60bn of investors’ money.
Trained as a lithographic printer, Nigel gained his Diploma with Distinction at the London College of Communications, now part of UAL, where later he served as Chair of the Board.
He has been a Cabinet Office Social Enterprise Ambassador, on the inaugural board of Social Enterprise UK, and Big Society Capital’s Advisory Board. Nigel is a Social Enterprise UK ‘Champion of Champions’ and winner of the Institute of Directors Good Enterprise Award. He was a member of the Government Taskforce “Growing a culture of social impact investing in the UK”, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Impact Investing Institute. He was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List for his services to social enterprise.