Goals 'being delivered in abundance'

Social enterprises becoming more self-reliant says report

Nick Kuenssberg and Alastair DavisSocial enterprises are becoming more sustainable and reducing their dependency on grant funding, according to a new report.

As more investment has poured into these businesses they have increased their trading income, thereby improving their ability to operate with a lower level of external support.

Social Investment Scotland, the leading lender to the third sector, says in its annual social impact report that £100 million of turnover generated by these firms is attributed to trading income, £55m to grant funding and £17m to other income sources.

A rise in trading income is down to 61% of SIS customers increasing their sustainability over the past 12 months, indicating a reduced reliance on grant funding. SIS says its customers have created 454 jobs in the past year.

Other highlights in the report:

·         Nearly half (47%) of SIS customers who focus on employment, training and education report that the beneficiaries of their services are now in suitable employment, training or education

·         Three-quarters (76%) of those targeting arts, heritage, sports and faith outcomes have provided high quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive cultural services

·         Half (50%) of those concentrating on improving housing and local facilities have created access to local shops, transport, facilities and recreation.

SIS chief executive, Alastair Davis (pictured, above right), said: “It has been a huge year, both for SIS, and for the broader social investment sector. With a wider understanding of what social investment can deliver, more social enterprises and community organisations are turning to this form of finance to help them achieve their social goals. And it’s clear that these goals are being delivered in abundance.”

Nick Kuenssberg (above, left), chairman, added: “By using social investment to fund further growth, our customers are not only creating more jobs and generating more income, they are also able to increase the impacts they are making to the lives of people within communities across Scotland.

“At a time when the Scottish Government strives to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality, it’s clear that social investment has a major role to play in Scotland’s economic and social development.”

SIS recently posted record results for 2014. Over the past year it secured £23m of new or renewed investment commitments from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, the Scottish Government, Big Society Capital, Triodos Bank and Asda.

The organisation also invested more than ever before with £7.5m in funding being awarded to 45 social enterprises, charities and community organisations seeking growth.

Since its start in 2001, SIS has made investments totalling nearly £50m (£49.4m). Customers include Social Bite, Aberdeen Foyer, Showcase the Street and Changeworks.

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