Leading responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) invested a record £10.9 million in social enterprises, community organisations and mission-driven businesses during the past year (April 2019 – March 2020), according to its latest Social Impact Report.
The latest investment figures from SIS include £4.36 million invested in social enterprises and communities, with the remainder invested 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 £28 million among 175 social enterprises.
More than 1.4 million people benefitted either directly or indirectly from the activities of SIS, up from 1.1 million in 2018/19, benefiting communities across all of 32 local authorities in Scotland. 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.
SIS has also published figures highlighting its support for Scotland’s social enterprises and third sector at the height of lockdown (between 1st April and end of June), During that period, SIS provided 800 support interventions for 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 7 support initiatives, including the Retail Academy, and 64 workshops, webinars and masterclasses to help communities and social enterprises develop capacity, confidence, and resilience.
Commenting on the Social Impact Report, Social Investment Scotland’s 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. Like most other sectors within our economy, our customers have found themselves facing considerable challenges during the pandemic to keep their heads above water. However, despite these impacts which are still ongoing, the role of community and social enterprises in responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19 has been nothing short of extraordinary. Working with our numerous partners, SIS is now focused on supporting these individuals, organisations and businesses through a recovery period so they can play a vital role in building an impact economy in Scotland, where positive impacts for people and planet come first.”
The full report can be found at https://www.socialinvestmentscotland.com/our-impact/