More than a million Scots benefit from social investment

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Social Investment Scotland's Alastair Davis and Nick Kuenssberg.

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9th October 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

More than 1 million Scots have benefited from social investment over the past year according to a new study.

It is the result of in-depth research amongst 130 Social Investment Scotland (SIS) customers comprising social enterprises, charities and community organisations.

The report aimed to measure the impact of investment on their social and economic goals.

It found that over the past year the activities of SIS's customers have benefited 1.09 million Scots.

Of these 38% are estimated to live in Scotland's most deprived areas.

The benefit of these activities is felt across every local authority in Scotland with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Highlands and Islands proving the most popular regions for social investment.

While the total turnover reported for the last full financial year by 127 customers decreased from 2016 by £9 million to £182m, the number of customers becoming financially sustainable, a key success indicator, increased.

Encouragingly, seven in ten (69%) organisations also expect an increase in turnover from the last full financial year to this financial year (up from 62% in 2016), while all expect the number of employees to grow over the next two years.

As well as the improved economic impacts being delivered by SIS customers, the report highlights some significant social impacts across a broad range of indicators including the environment, employment, mental health and housing.

The main primary social impact delivered by customers is in employment, training and/or education which was cited by a third (32%).

Citizenship and/or community is the second most popular at one in five (21%), followed by arts, heritage, sport and/or faith, cited by one in six (17%).

The Social Impact Report follows hot on the heels of the latest Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2017 report which shows clear growth in the number of social enterprises and their economic impact, underlining Scotland's global reputation as a world-leading nation in the support and development of social enterprise.

There are now 5,600 social enterprises operating in Scotland (up from 5199 in 2015), while the economic contribution of social enterprises to Scotland reached £2 billion.

SIS chief executive Alastair Davis said: "It's very rewarding to see the benefit of our social investment reaching into so many communities 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, day in, day out.”

Nick Kuenssberg, chairman of SIS, added: "As one of the UK's leader responsible finance providers, SIS will continue to retain a singular focus on increasing social impacts across Scotland and the numbers of people benefiting from these impacts.

“Whether these impacts are delivered by ambitious third sector organisations or by innovative socially-focused entrepreneurs, we will underpin them as best we can with the right capital and support to meet their requirements to succeed."