New fund launched
SIS Ventures targets £5m for early stage firms
Bill Crossan and Thomas Gillan: ambitious plans to achieve social impact
A new investment venture with a community mission hopes to raise up to £5 million to help early stage businesses and social enterprises.
The plan is to provide debt and equity to entrepreneurs, particularly those startups that might struggle to access investment from existing sources.
Social Investment Scotland is seeking authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority to operate newly-formed SIS Ventures using Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
SIS Ventures plans to leverage the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges and needs.
The venture has attracted veteran Scottish investor Bill Crossan as chairman of an experienced board which includes David Ovens of Archangel Investors and Amanda Young, head of global ESG investment research at Aberdeen Standard Investments.
Mr Crossan founded Growth Capital Partners (GCP) in 1999 and brings 30 years’ experience investing in growing mid-market companies, both from an equity perspective with 3i and Close Brothers and from a senior lender’s position with the Bank of Scotland.
He said: “The investment world has come a long way in recent years. Where previously impact-first investment lacked both credibility and visibility among the investor community, we’re now beginning to see more investors come on board with the idea of backing businesses who can produce both a financial and social return.
“This is, in part, due to the increased value placed on social impact at board level, but also an increased desire among Scotland’s entrepreneur community to pursue a profit-with-purpose model.
“It’s a hugely exciting time to be working with such an ambitious team and I’m looking forward to helping SIS Ventures make its name within Scotland’s early stage investment space.”
Thomas Gillan, director of SIS Ventures said: “At Social Investment Scotland we believe that impactful enterprises, those that deliver profit and purpose, should be the bedrock of society; supported with the full power of the investor community.
“We know that many individuals today have a genuine desire to invest in activities that benefit society which is why we created SIS Ventures Limited.”
Nick Kuenssberg, chairman of SIS, added: “We are delighted to have been able to attract Bill to this important ground-breaking venture company.
“With him in the chair and a strong board, we are now in a great position to move forward to the next stage of rolling out our first fund.”
The full board:
Susan Aktemel, Director, Homes for Good
Alastair Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Social Investment Scotland
Thomas Gillan, Chief Officer Finance & Strategy, Social Investment Scotland
Morag McNeill, Director, Social Investment Scotland
David Ovens, Chief Operating Officer, Archangels
Mike Wooderson, experienced investment professional
Amanda Young, Head of Global ESG Investment Research, Aberdeen Standard Investments