Fifth year of growth

Higher turnover and job creation at SIS

SISClients of Social Investment Scotland have delivered a fifth consecutive year of increased jobs and trading income, according to its latest annual Social Impact report.

Research among 118 SIS customers, comprising social enterprises, charities and community organisations reveals they created 363 full-time equivalent jobs and helped sustain more than 3,000.

Turnover of client companies rose by £20 million to £192m which is four times bigger than in 2012 when the first social impact report was published. Average turnover in that time has doubled from £843,000 to £1.6m.

In that time SIS has supported 237 customers and provided 333 loans.

Third sector organisations are optimistic about future performance. Nearly two thirds (63%) believe that they have increased their financial sustainability over the previous year, and roughly the same number (64%) felt confident they would be able to grow the scope or scale of their activities.  

SIS is keen to help third sector organisations become less reliant on grant funding and more financially sustainable.The percentage of customers without any grant funding has increased from 12% to 18%. The percentage of customers with more than 50% of their income generating from trading activity, has increased from 43% to 62%.

Chief executive, Alastair Davis (above right), said: “The last five years have seen many more social enterprises wake up to the potential of social investment in helping them deliver their social goals.

“No longer solely reliant on grant funding, many of these organisations are taking on investment to help increase trading income which, in turn, is helping them to increase their local social impacts and support thousands of jobs.

“During this time, SIS has also had to grow and evolve its offering from one focused purely on financial support to one that’s more akin to a business adviser, mentoring and nurturing customers throughout their journey.

“Despite this growth, I’m proud that our focus on supporting the most marginalised communities has remained unchanged, and we have also been able to maintain our high service standards, as judged by our customers.”

Nick Kuenssberg (above left), chairman, added: “Through improved governance and a greater understanding of financial sustainability, our customers are making deep and long-lasting impacts on their local communities.

“With demand for social investment staying strong, we’ve also seen a greater and more varied supply of social investment capital, which is helping us meet the needs of our customers with more tailored financial solutions for their specific business needs.

“As the broader economic outlook is set to remain volatile, it’s vital that we continue to help the third sector fulfil its potential to deliver both much needed public services but also credible socially-focused alternatives to the products offered by the mainstream business sector.”

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