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Social Investment Scotland secures £16m to create new fund



Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has successfully bid for £8m in funding from Big Society Capital, which will be matched by the Scottish government. The money will be used to create the Social Growth Fund that will aim to deliver measurable social impacts.

SIS is a leading funder in the third sector with a focus on supporting growth in communities by providing a range of financial products. It is one of the UK’s largest Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and makes loans and other repayable investments to charities, community organisations and social enterprises.

Since it was established in 2001, SIS has invested over £43m in almost 200 organisations. Projects that have benefited from the finance, which are worth in excess of £60m, tackle a range of issues including employment and training, health and the environment. The Social Growth Fund will allow the organisation to continue growing and developing.

Alastair Davis, chief executive of SIS, said, “SIS aims to grow its funds under management significantly over the next five years and this new Social Growth Fund represents a substantial step in this direction.

“The investment is recognition for the considerable social impact achieved by our work to date, and will go some way to helping us achieve our strategy for growth, making a real difference to more lives in communities across Scotland.”

Last year the organisation set out a five-year growth plan, which includes a series of commitments such as expanding funding programmes to meet changing needs and monitoring and measuring the social impact of their work more effectively.

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of Bog Society Capital, commented, “Social investment delivers the money needed to make positive change in communities. Social Investment Scotland’s exceptional track record, matched with is knowledge of the needs of the community means that they are ideally placed to make sure this significant planned investment makes a real difference.”

Big Society Capital chairman Harvey McGarth recently spoke about the social investment sector. He said that it was gathering momentum and emerging as a genuine “alternative and sustainable” way to fund work that benefits communities.

He described social investment as a “double win” because it supports organisations in achieving their missions whilst helping them to become more self-sustaining.

Photo: Moyan Brenn via Flickr

Further reading:

Bringing social investment into the mainstream

Fiona Woolf: London must lead in social impact investment

Momentum for social investment is building, says Big Society Capital chair

Social investment fund reveals support packages for 10 energy entrepreneurs

Why impact investment could soon be a trillion-dollar industry