Over 35 enquiries to Social Growth Fund fund launched in May
Demand from Scotland’s third sector for the Social Growth Fund has exceeded £10 million in its first three months, according to Social Investment Scotland (SIS) which manages the fund.
The fund opened in early May for third sector organisations including charities, social enterprises and community businesses to apply for long-term finance through loans ranging from £10,000 to £1 million with repayment tailored to each organisation’s needs.
More than 35 potential customers covering a variety of sectors from energy and renewables to arts and culture and property development have all made applications signalling an increased appetite in Scotland’s third sector for longer-term, more sustainable forms of finance according to Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland.
“It’s hugely encouraging to see that an increasing number of social enterprises and charities are now thinking more carefully about how they can become more self-reliant to improve the lives of more people across Scotland in the long-term,” he continued.
“These organisations have a huge role to play in delivering important facilities and services that will help our communities thrive and prosper.”
These organisations have a huge role to play in delivering important facilities and services that will help our communities thrive and prosper
The fund is made up of £8m from the Scottish Government and a further £8m from independent financial institution Big Society Capital.
Its investment in SIS was the first of its kind in Scotland since its formation last year, increasing SIS’s funds under management by a third. It is the largest investment in SIS for twelve years and the largest ever investment by an external organisation.
John Swinney, cabinet secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth welcomed the news organisations are proactively seeking opportunities to grow and develop and become more sustainable.
“The Social Growth Fund builds on the success of the Scottish Investment Fund which has made awards of more than £28 million to 67 third sector organisations since 2008,” he added.
Organisations who are looking for investment should call a member of SIS’ investment team on 0131 558 7706 to discuss possible funding or support.