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 6500 people have sold the magazine since 1996
  • More than 10 million magazines have been sold, generating $23 million in income for vendors
  • Circulation of the magazine has increased from 7000 in 1996 to more than 26,000 today (2015)
  • 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 7000 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 improved physical and mental health and increased self-esteem
  • Every $1 invested in 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, according to an independent study. Based on the program's operating costs, the study estimated that Street Soccer saved society $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

The Women's Subscription Enterprise

  • The Women’s Subscription Enterprise was established in Melbourne in 2010, initially providing employment to seven women
  • More than 130 women have since been employed in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The enterprise will soon expand to Perth.
  • More than 1000 Women's Subscription Enterprise shifts have been held and 450,000 magazines packed for distribution to subscribers

The Big Issue Classroom

  • More than 80,000 students have taken part in The Big Issue Classroom workshops since the program launched in 2009
  • The program has expanded to include workshops for primary students and an eClassroom, which school groups can access online
  • More than 3500 speaking opportunities have been provided for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people as guest speakers through The Big Issue Classroom
  • 35 guest speakers have been employed, with 5 moving into mainstream employment