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Bighous: Helping build a future for those in need

Bighous

Bighous is tackling homelessness by providing better and affordable housing to every disadvantaged group in the UK. They aim to ensure that the most vulnerable in society have a home and also receive a high standard of living conditions. Bighous want you to spread the word about their work.

Our interview with Paolo, Founder of Bighous

Describe your mission in a sentence or two

We provide better and affordable housing to every disadvantaged group in the UK.

Who are your clients?

We buy distressed properties, redevelop them, and then let these to charities, who will use these properties to house disadvantaged individuals, from homeless, to care leavers, asylum seekers, disabled, or recovering from an addiction.

What stage are you at in your business?

We are 4 and half years old with a total of 21 properties and 49 tenants.

How much funding have you raised to date?

Circa £300k circa of debt in first round, then £510k of both equity and debt in second round.

What is the vision for the company?

I want to grow Bighous to be a recognisable social housing provider for the most vulnerable in the society. My vision is to end homelessness/rough sleeping.

What is your current biggest challenge and how are you seeking to address it?

Funding, funding, funding. I believe a large number of so called "social impact" institutional investors are only interested in the safety of their investment and a guaranteed return and use the social impact umbrella just as a mean to raise funds from investors. Also we deal in property and the government places a number of restrictions around this (incl. restriction from applying to EIS/SEIS).

What are you most proud of/excited about for your business?

I am proud to have made it to date. My early investors invested with a 30% ROI over a 9-month period and during the first 3 years I grew the business only through expensive debt. It was a challenge but helped me build a decent portfolio, be known in the industry and attract cheaper finance.

What kind of partnerships do you have in place to grow your business?

We work with charities, we ascertain their need for properties in an area and then try to acquire properties with the requested specs within an agreed timeline.

What does “diversity” mean in practice for your company?

In practice means I will not discriminate a homeless, or a former prisoner, because I believe everyone deserves a roof over their heads.

What’s next for your company?

We are hoping to raise £2.0m to grow the portfolio, deliver on a number of projects and have 1/2 people move to full time employment within Bighous.

How can the SeedTribe community be involved in helping you scale your it mpact?

Word of mouth - I need the most people to know about us and spread the word.

To contact Paolo, send us an email and we will put you in touch.

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