Record year sees Social Investment Scotland help 200 'impact-led' ventures

Social Investment Scotland (SIS), the “responsible” finance provider, has reported a record year, providing some £41 million for more than 200 third-sector organisations and businesses.

The lender’s latest impact report shows that active loans and investments during the 2021/22 financial year increased by £3m from £38m in 2020/21, resulting in the highest total in SIS’s 21-year history.

In the past year, Edinburgh-based SIS has helped 201 social enterprises, community organisations and impact-led businesses with active loans and investments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The record investment figures were achieved during the second year of the lender’s ten-year Building an Impact Economy Strategy, which is aimed at supporting and encouraging businesses of all kinds to make a “real, measurable, and sustainable impact on people’s lives”.

Lending volumes included £12.4m in loan and equity funds drawn by social enterprises in Scotland, and £6.8m loaned to responsible lenders across the UK who, in turn, offer finance to enterprises and individuals who are unable to secure them from mainstream financial lenders.

Meanwhile, some £1.8m in equity funding was drawn by impact-led businesses through investor offshoot SIS Ventures. SIS also approved £9.15m of new investments for Scotland’s social enterprises during the year.

The impact report also reveals that the activities of SIS, either directly or indirectly, benefited 4.3 million people, more than double last year’s total of 1.9 million people, with those benefits felt by communities in all 32 local authorities in Scotland.

One third of loan customers secured loans of less than £50,000 underlining SIS’s support for smaller social enterprises, charities and community organisations.

George Tah, creator and founder of Jambo! Radio in Glasgow, which received a funding package of £5,000 from SIS.
George Tah, creator and founder of Jambo! Radio in Glasgow, which received a funding package of £5,000 from SIS.
George Tah, creator and founder of Jambo! Radio in Glasgow, which received a funding package of £5,000 from SIS.

As well as providing funding to help support the growth of an impact economy, SIS's market building activity provided projects, programmes and support to help communities and social enterprises develop “capacity, confidence and resilience”. Activity included the delivery of 74 workshops and webinars, as well as the design and management of 11 support initiatives.

SIS chairman Ken Barclay said: “Over the last 21 years, SIS has grown to a position where our customers, and those we work with, touch the lives of at least 4.3 million people each year. It is this social impact which inspires and drives our team to achieve great outcomes with both our long term and new partners in ways that make a real difference to the lives of the people our customers serve.

“We thank all of our partners for their commitment and support, alongside our customers and peer organisations. We will continue to work to build the kind of world where positive impact for people and the planet comes first,” he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Among the organisations to benefit from SIS support is Jambo! Radio, described as the only dedicated radio station for the people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland. It participated in SIS’s partnership programme with the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO Scotland) & CEMVO Enterprises CIC.

Working together with social entrepreneurs, CEMVO and SIS co-designed a social investment programme specifically for social enterprises led by, and reaching, people from across Scotland’s ethnically diverse communities.

Read More
Social Investment Scotland to offer multi-million boost to 'mission-driven' uni ...



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.