Social Investment Scotland passes £100m lending milestone
Responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has invested more than £100 million in 460 social enterprises, community organisations and mission-driven businesses since opening its doors in 2001, according to its latest Impact Report.
The latest annual investment figures from SIS show that active loans and investments during 2021/20 increased by more than £11m from £28m among 175 social enterprises in 2019/20 to £38m among 212 social enterprises.
Lending volumes include £18.6m in loan funds drawn by social enterprises in Scotland, and £10.7m loaned to the growing sector of responsible lenders across the UK who, in turn, offer finance to enterprises and individuals who are unable to secure them from mainstream financial lenders.
The remainder was invested in mission-driven businesses through profit-with-purpose investor SIS Ventures.
One in eight (12%) loan customers secured loans of under £50,000 underlining SIS’s support for smaller social enterprises, charities and community organisations who traditionally find it difficult to access finance. SIS also approved £10.6m of new investments for Scotland’s social enterprises during the year.
SIS took a leading role in Scotland’s COVID-19 response for the social and third sector deploying £4.6m in COVID-19 response funds to 50 social and third sector enterprises.
As well as providing funding to help support the growth of an impact economy, SIS also scaled up its market-building activity during 2020/21, designing and managing 15 support initiatives, including its well-established Retail Academy, and 83 workshops, webinars and masterclasses, attended by 1,762 social enterprise leaders to help communities and social enterprises develop capacity, confidence, and resilience.
The activities of SIS, either directly or indirectly, benefited 1.9 million people, up from 1.4 million last year, with those benefits felt by communities in all 32 local authorities in Scotland, as well as communities in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Wolverhampton and Nottinghamshire.
Ken Barclay, Social Investment Scotland’s chairman, said: “Over the past year, the team at SIS has worked incredibly hard to create and deliver financial products and programmes to support social enterprises and the third sector throughout what has undoubtedly been an exceptionally difficult year for most. We are humbled to have worked alongside the many social enterprises responding as only they know best, to the needs of their local community.
“We continue, patiently, supporting those social enterprises to build resilience, while providing support for those moving towards, recovery and growth. Our hope is that these social enterprises, and businesses of all kinds, will unite in our shared mission to build an impact economy.”