Seven social enterprises based in Scotland have secured investment of up to £100,000 each from a group of private investors.
The diverse ventures include a sculpture workshop based in Edinburgh, an Aberdeenshire boat festival and a Dundee gymnastics club.
It follows Social Investment Scotland’s divestment of SIS Community Capital, a social investment fund that raised a total of £400,000 from 27 private investors.
SIS Community Capital is understood to be the UK’s first social investment tax relief fund, providing individuals who invested with both tax relief and a social return on investment. Tax relief for investors is provided in the form of a 30 per cent relief on their investment from their income tax liability.
In turn, the fund provides investees with affordable unsecured finance over a six-year term, enabling them to develop their business and focus on delivering social impacts before repayments of the loan capital begin.
Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “SIS Community Capital is a great example of how we can use social investment tax relief to open up a new source of capital for social enterprises.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of interest from investors, who have been keen to become part of a new and innovative way of helping to support and grow Scotland’s thriving social enterprise sector.
“Using the funding from SIS Community Capital, these seven social enterprises will now have the time to develop their businesses and focus on increasing their social impacts, before loan repayments begin.”
Street League, which helps tackle youth unemployment through a structured football and education programme, has secured £100,000 to help fund a new mobile team running rural academies across the country.
A similar six-figure sum has been secured by Just Trading Scotland as part of a rebranding and repackaging exercise to reach a wider retail market. The venture provides smallholder farmers and craft workers with a fair way to sell their goods.
Broxburn United Sports Club’s facility at Albyn Park and the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Aberdeenshire have each attracted £50,000 in funding.
Dundee Gymnastics Club 2K has secured £44,000 to finance a new lease, redecoration and gymnastics equipment, while £30,000 will support the MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust in Argyll & Bute to develop its “heritage experience” operation, providing more learning and volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop has been given £25,000 to fit out a new cafe which has been leased out to increase footfall and generation income.