£1m raised by partnership
Carrier bag charge helps fund enterprises
Alastair Davis: making a difference
Money raised from the Scottish government’s 5p carrier bag charge is helping fund small business ventures.
Asda Community Capital, a partnership between the supermarket chain and Social Investment Scotland (SIS), has used proceeds from the bag charge to lend more than £1 million to communities across Scotland. Many have been unable to access funds from other sources.
The milestone was passed with the approval of a £40,000 loan to childcare provider Klas Care, based in Linwood and Johnstone.
Other recipients include Edinburgh-based community bakers Breadshare, Cumnock Juniors, Brewgooder and Heroes Vodka.
Asda Community Capital was established in 2014 following the supermarket group’s pledge to invest half of the funds from the bag charge to support innovative social enterprises and community projects across Scotland.
The partnership with one of the UK’s leading responsible finance providers SIS, the first of its kind in the UK, has allowed Asda to distribute half the proceeds through loans, ranging from £10,000 to £50,000.
The average value of each award has been £34,000, with the smallest just £10,000, ensuring that the funding has been able to benefit a wide range of community groups across Scotland.
For recipients of the loans, interest is waived during the first year of investment and from the second year, all interest raised on the Community Capital loans is reinvested to support more good causes, delivering sustainable social impact in communities across Scotland.
Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: “The fund has been instrumental in supporting local groups across Scotland who were struggling to gain access to capital through traditional routes.
“By offering loans free from interest payments for the first year, these organisations have been able to focus their energy on increasing local community impacts and making a real difference to people’s lives.
“Not only that, but we have been able to help these charities and social enterprises become more financially sustainable.
“The future of the fund looks bright, we are continuing to work with Asda and all money raised through interest is now being reinvested in more good causes.”