The Big Issue Magazine

66 New Market Street
Woodstock
Cape Town
7925

The Big Issue Magazine

Independent/Eco-MediaSocial ServiceSocial Enterprise

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The Big Issue is a non-profit, job creating, non-governmental organisation (NGO), launched in Cape Town 1996. It publishes a general interest 3 weekly magazine sold by a vendor force of unemployed, homeless and socially excluded adults. This is backed-up by a social development programme of vendor support, vocational, life and business skills training and guidance counselling, which aids them to move back into mainstream society. Critical to its job creating function is the The Big Issue's philosophy that actively encourages and equips vendors to 'move on' from the project and into mainstream society.

The Big Issue magazine is a general interest and current affairs magazine that is sold mainly on the streets of Cape Town and its surrounds, with a limited distribution in Johannesburg, by unemployed and socially marginalised people who earn half the cover price. Containing a mix of news stories, columns, features, arts and entertainment pieces, The Big Issue magazine appeals to a wide range of readers and cuts across demographic categories.

The Big Issue reviews its ad ratios and circulation on a monthly basis and this is audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).

Our core business model is that all profits from sales of the magazine and advertising be used to produce a better magazine and to provide jobs and social support for poor and homeless people.

The Big Issue South Africa is a member of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) which unites over 88 street papers sold by people living in poverty across 37 countries spanning 6 continents.

The Big Issue magazine’s vendor-force in Cape Town comprises mainly of long-term unemployed Xhosa-speaking people from township areas.

Job creation is at the core of The Big Issue’s work and critical to this is the development of vendors’ skills. Vendors who sign up with the project benefit from the multi-faceted Vendor Support Programme; the philosophy of this programme is 'a hand-up, not a hand-out' and striving to create opportunities for permanent and sustainable change in the lives of vendors.

The Big Issue magazine has a readership of over 96 000 and has provided employment and social support for 10 000 people, who have earned over R13-million since its inception.

021 461 6690
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