How ethical finance helps the poorest Scots

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SIS chief executive Alastair Davis, chair Nick Kuenssberg and deputy first minister John Swinney

 £63 million worth of investment has helped 300,000 people living in some of the most deprived areas in Scotland

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8th November 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

More than 1 million Scots have benefitted from social investment over the past year.

That’s the finding of a major report into the impact of ethical finance.

According to Social Investment Scotland’s (SIS) latest annual social Impact report, £63 million worth of investment has helped nearly 300,000 people living in some of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

Social investment is the use of repayable finance to help an organisation achieve a social purpose.

Charities and social enterprise can use it to help them increase their impact on society, for example by growing their business, providing working capital for contract delivery, or buying assets.​​

The report from SIS is the result of in-depth research among 139 social enterprises, charities and community organisations to measure the impact of investment on their social and economic goals.  

Investments by SIS have benefited 1.3 million Scots, which is an increase of 19% from the 2017 figure.

Over the past year alone, SIS customers have created 319 full-time equivalent jobs and sustained more than 3,000 jobs. Encouragingly 71% of customers anticipate turnover to increase in the next year.

The cumulative benefit of SIS investments has been felt across all 32 local authorities in Scotland. Over the course of the past year SIS has invested in customers located in 28 of those 32 local authorities.

Importantly, the impact of the services being provided by these customers is being felt where it is needed most - 60% are children, young people and families, 47% those experiencing long term unemployment, 45% people living in poverty, 25% former offenders, 22% people with addiction issues and 14% homeless.

The report also provides a breakdown of key sectors where SIS is providing the biggest financial investment and overall social impact.

The keys sector with the main primary social impact delivered by customers is in employment, training and education cited by 39% of customers. Arts, heritage, sports and faith is the second most popular at 17%, followed by citizenship and community (16%) and physical health (8%).

The launch of the report coincided with a parliamentary reception at Holyrood.

The event marked SIS chairman Nick Kuenssberg’s retiral from this role, with Ken Barclay taking over in January 2019.

Kuenssberg said: “2018 has been another strong year for SIS, working with more customers than ever before to make a difference to those who need it most. I am very confident that with a high calibre board and with Ken Barclay as my successor, SIS will continue to make significant social impacts across the country in 2019 and beyond.”

SIS chief executive Alastair Davis added: “Our report is a key indicator of how well SIS is doing to meet our mission of connecting capital with communities. By showing both the social and economic impact, we can measure the positive benefits of the investments we’re making on people’s lives. Most importantly, we can tell whether our investments are helping those who need it most.

The full report can be found here.