Our Achievements

Our achievements

From our beginnings on the steps of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne in 1996, we have grown to become Australia’s longest-standing and most significant social enterprise.

We have achieved this by giving people from all walks of life the chance to work, earn and income and reconnect with the community. We have no barriers to employment or participation, providing everyone who comes through our doors with the opportunity to get involved. Here are just some of our achievements.

The Big Issue Magazine

  • More than 4500 people have sold the magazine since 1996
  • More than 9 million magazines have been sold, generating $19 million in income for vendors
  • Circulation of the magazine has increased from 7000 in 1996 to more than 29,000 today (2014)
  • Research shows The Big Issue magazine saves society approximately $20,000 per vendor per year through a reduction in demand for social services such as hospitals, welfare support, emergency services and correctional facilities
  • With approximately 540 vendors working across Australia annually, this equates to a total annual economic benefit to the community of $11 million

The Community Street Soccer Program

  • More than 5500 people have participated in the Community Street Soccer Program since 2007
  • Independent research has found participation in the Community Street Soccer Program leads to many positive outcomes for participants, including reduction of mental illness symptoms, improvement of physical health and increased self-esteem
  • Every $1 invested into the Community Street Soccer Program generates a saving to the Australian community of $4.30 through a reduction in demand for social services including hospitals, welfare support, emergency services and correctional facilities. Based on costs to run the Community Street Soccer Program, the program is estimated to reduce costs for society of $7 million per year
  • We proudly hosted the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup, bringing together more than 50 national teams for a week of competition
  • We also host a successful annual Street Football Festival involving participants from the Community Street Soccer Program and wider football community. Find out more about our 2014 Street Football Festival here.

The Women's Subscription Enterprise

  • The Women’s Subscription Enterprise was established in Melbourne in 2010, initially providing employment to seven women
  • More than 100 women have since been employed in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide
  • More than 3000 hours of paid employment has been offered through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise
  • More than 500 Women's Subscription Enterprise shifts have been held and 200,000 subscriptions packed

The Big Issue Classroom

  • Almost 45,000 students have taken part in The Big Issue Classroom workshops since its launch in 2009
  • The program has expanded to include workshops for primary students and corporate groups
  • More than 1700 speaking opportunities have been provided for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people as guest speakers through The Big Issue Classroom