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Our plans to deliver £15m of the new Third Sector Growth Fund

Alastair Davis, SIS CEO, shares how we plan to deliver £15m of the new £30m Third Sector Growth Fund.

Over a period of many years, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) have worked in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver a range of projects and programmes to support our precious third sector and social enterprises. This has been particularly true during the Covid-19 pandemic, and over the last 12 months, SIS, and others, have worked in partnership to deliver resilience and recovery support. The depth and speed of this response has been the envy of many.

Whilst in the short term our attention remains on supporting social enterprises with short term challenges, we also have one eye on the future – not just on recovery but also future opportunities for social enterprises and mission-driven businesses across Scotland. That’s why I’m delighted that we are working with the Scottish Government to deliver £15m of the £30m Growth Fund announced this week.

This is a significant investment overall in the sector and, in terms of SIS, will allow us to progress two new initiatives. £5m of the total has already been invested into our SIS Ventures arm, making equity investments into mission-driven businesses to drive social and environmental impact. In addition, we are exploring:

  • The Circular Economy Fund, with a further £5m of investment. This fund will make loans and other repayable investments into charities and social enterprises operating in the circular economy or to innovative projects that can make a positive impact upon the environment. Targeted programmes under this fund are currently being developed and more information will be available on the SIS website in due course.
  • A further £5m for longer-term charity finance. SIS are aware that the pandemic will have had a significant impact on some organisations and in particular the strength and resilience of their balance sheets. Following an in-depth period of research, SIS will look to develop a fund that will respond to these issues. Further information will be available in the new financial year.

SIS are excited to be working with the Scottish Government on this new phase of investment. I want to make sure that we use this precious resource to its greatest possible advantage, hence why I am keen that we take some time to review, reflect and research to ensure that what we develop is truly in line with the needs of Scotland’s charities and social enterprises. If you want to discuss any aspect of this work with me, please do not hesitate to get in touch.