Arnold to lead funding deals for SIS Ventures
Scottish finance provider, Social Investment Scotland (SIS), has appointed a UK specialist on the growing market for mission-driven business as its first head of SIS Ventures, the wholly-owned impact investment fund.
Jill Arnold will take over responsibility for the investor’s existing portfolio and help to lead the next phase of fundraising to support the market for purpose-based business in Scotland.
She joins SIS Ventures from RBS where she led the enterprise strand of the bank’s purpose-led strategy, which committed to helping create 50,000 businesses across the UK by 2023, through inspiring and supporting over half a million people consider entrepreneurship as a career.
During this time Ms Arnold (pictured) led the bank’s enterprise programme delivery and developed and launched ‘Back Her Business’, the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding programme that supports would-be entrepreneurs.
Prior to that, she led the strategy development, and delivery, of the bank’s £2.5m per annum Skills & Opportunities Fund, which helped people in disadvantaged communities help themselves to start up in business.
Ms Arnold also led the bank’s partnership with The Prince’s Trust as the longest-standing supporter of their Enterprise Programme, helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds explore starting up in business, as well as developing a £5m Enterprise Relief Fund to support young entrepreneurs during Covid.
After graduating with a first class honours degree in accounting and finance from Strathclyde Business School, Ms Arnold trained to become a chartered accountant at Arthur Andersen.
She furthered her career in project finance at Grant Thornton, before transferring to RBS in 2006 where she has spent the last 14 years, formerly transacting deals in the mid-market private equity space.
Chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, Alastair Davis, said: “Jill’s appointment comes at a crucial time for SIS Ventures. Never previously has there been such a focus worldwide on the value of creating and nurturing purpose-based businesses as the backbone of a sustainable economy.
“Jill’s unique skillset which combines investment and deal experience with purpose-led strategy development, specifically in the UK-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem, is ideally suited to helping SIS Ventures kick on to the next level.”
Ms Arnold said: “Having spent the last few years working closely with the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, I’ve been hugely encouraged by the emergence of a new wave of business with a passion to positively impact society.
“However, in order to flourish, these enterprises need access to an adequate supply of capital. We’ve got a great opportunity at SIS Ventures to become the go-to impact investor, raising more funds from the investor community and deploying that capital across the UK’s enterprise community, for the benefit of society as a whole.”