SIS invests record £10.9m into social enterprises
Alastair Davis: responding to challenges
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) invested a record £10.9 million in social enterprises, community organisations and mission-driven businesses in the year to March 2020.
Its latest Social Impact Report shows £4.36 million invested in social enterprises and communities, with the remainder in supporting the growing sector of responsible lenders (CDFIs) and in mission-driven businesses through profit-with-purpose investor SIS Ventures.
Active loans and investments with SIS during 2019/20 totalled more than £28m among 175 social enterprises.
More than 1.4 million people benefitted either directly or indirectly, up from 1.1 million in 2018/19, across all of 32 local authorities.
SIS’s investments also positively impacted communities further afield including, for example, people in East Midlands, West Midlands and Hertfordshire who benefited from a fund invested in UK-wide social lenders with a remit to help small local businesses create positive impacts.
During the lockdown, SIS backed 800 people and organisations from the third sector, approving £2.52 million in loan funding through the Third Sector Resilience Fund and supporting 20 of Scotland’s Credit Unions through the Credit Union Resilience Fund.
As well as providing funding to help support the growth of an impact economy, SIS also scaled up its market-building activity during 2019/20, designing and managing seven support initiatives, including the Retail Academy, and 64 workshops, webinars and masterclasses to help communities and social enterprises develop capacity, confidence, and resilience.
Chief executive, Alastair Davis, said: “Over the past 15 months, demand for both finance and support has never been greater among third sector organisations and social enterprises.
“The role of community and social enterprises in responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19 has been nothing short of extraordinary.”