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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Social investment creates hundreds of jobs

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Investment funding having a growing impact on the sector report shows

A social investment fund has created hundreds of jobs and helped boost the social economy according to a social impact report.

Social Investment Scotland (SIS), which grants loan finance initiatives for Scotland’s social enterprises, said that its customers created 454 jobs over the past 12 months and sustained more than 3,000 jobs.

Turnover from these firms reached £172 million for the year, an increase of £22m on the revenues generated in 2014.

Some £100m of this turnover is attributed to trading income, with £55m to grant funding and £17m to other income sources, the report shows.

The increase in trading income is a reflection of the fact 61% of the funder's customers have increased their sustainability over the past 12 months, indicating a reduced reliance on grant funding.

Social investment is repayable with interest. Charities and social enterprises generate a surplus through trading activities which is then used to repay investors.

More social enterprises and community organisations are turning to this form of finance - Alastair Davis

Nearly half (47%) of SIS customers who focus on employment, training and education report that the beneficiaries of their services are now in suitable employment, training or education.

Three-quarters (76%) of those targeting arts, heritage, sports and faith outcomes have provided high quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive cultural services

Half (50%) of those concentrating on improving housing and local facilities have created access to local shops, transport, facilities and recreation.

Commenting SIS chief executive, Alastair Davis, said: “It has been a huge year, both for SIS, and for the broader social investment sector.

"With a wider understanding of what social investment can deliver, more social enterprises and community organisations are turning to this form of finance to help them achieve their social goals. And it’s clear that these goals are being delivered in abundance.”

The report shows that over the past year SIS secured £23m of new or renewed investment from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, the Scottish Government, Big Society Capital, Triodos Bank and Asda.

It also invested more than ever with £7.5m in funding being awarded to 45 social enterprises, charities and community organisations seeking growth.

Nick Kuenssberg, chairman of SIS, added: “By using social investment to fund further growth, our customers are not only creating more jobs and generating more income, they are also able to increase the impacts they are making to the lives of people within communities across Scotland.

“At a time when the Scottish Government strives to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality, it’s clear that social investment has a major role to play in Scotland’s economic and social development.”