Social Investment Scotland reaches lending milestone

Founder of Locavore Reuben Chesters with Darrin Nightingale, chief customer officer, Social Investment Scotland

Responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has reached a significant milestone by lending to Locavore, marking its 300th investment in Scottish social enterprises.

The lender, which has been operating since 2001, has invested over £63 million across Scotland, supporting community enterprises and social businesses to provide tangible change and benefits to those living locally. Its 300th deal provides £20,000 of funding to wholesaler and retailer Locavore.

Locavore, based in Glasgow’s Govanhill, has been operating for seven years providing a wide range of locally sourced and organic groceries. Locavore provides shoppers with fresh and healthy food options and all profits are reinvested into building more sustainable supply chains.

The social enterprise has contributed greatly to the creation of sustainable local food economies. The fresh produce on offer allows locals to make healthier choices, which is a positive change for an area renowned for having a poor diet.

The financial support, provided by SIS, offers Locavore working capital during a period of transition while the organisation relocated and settles into larger premises. From its new premises, Locavore will be able to extend its retail offering, which includes a café offering a varied menu using locally sourced ingredients. The funds will also support Locavore’s other business offerings, including its veg-box subscription service and its new trading activity, importing organic groceries from the EU.

Commenting on the 300th investment milestone, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, Alastair Davis, 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.”

Darrin Nightingale, chief customer officer, Social Investment Scotland, said: “SIS has been working closely with Locavore for a number of years and we are delighted that this deal marks our 300th since launching. 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.”

Reuben Chesters, founder of Locavore, added: “Our recent investment from SIS has come at a pivotal time for the organisation as we move to new premises to grow our offering. 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.”

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