SIS hails 300th deal funding Scottish social enterprises

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Responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has hailed its 300th investment in Scottish social enterprises.

The organisation said it has reached the milestone by lending to Locavore, based in Glasgow’s Govanhill, which sells locally sourced and organic groceries.

Locavore sells fresh and healthy food options, has been operating for seven years, and all profits are reinvested into building more sustainable supply chains.

SIS has provided funding of £20,000, giving access to working capital during a period of transition while the organisation relocated and settles into larger premises.

From there, it will be able to extend its retail offering, which includes a café and varied menu using locally sourced ingredients.

The funds will also support Locavore’s other activities, including its veg-box subscription service and its new trading activity, importing organic groceries from the EU.

Reuben Chesters, founder of Locavore, said the SIS investment has come at a “pivotal” time for the organisation as it looks to expand. “The funds provide some financial cushioning for us during this period, allowing us to stay on track to achieve our original objectives to revolutionise the food system and reap the benefits of a more localised supply chain.”

Darrin Nightingale, chief customer officer at SIS, said the finance-provider has been working closely with Locavore for several years “and we are delighted that this deal marks our 300th since launching”.

He added: “Throughout our working relationship with Locavore, they have been able to demonstrate positive social change from the work that they do, and this investment will allow them to make greater inroads in promoting healthy diet choices while further supporting local food producers.”

SIS has been operating since 2001, and has invested more than £63 million across Scotland, supporting community enterprises and social businesses to provide tangible change and benefits to those living locally. Its loan finance ranges from sums of £10,000 to £2m and is aimed at relevant parties that might struggle to access finance from mainstream providers.

Also commenting was SIS chief executive Alastair Davis, who said: “Reaching our 300th customer deal is a very significant milestone for SIS. It’s very rewarding to see the benefit of our social investment reaching so many organisations across Scotland.

“Not only are we supporting these organisations to grow and prosper, creating jobs and revenue, but we are also seeing more people in Scotland’s most marginalised communities positively impacted by the amazing work carried out by our customers.”