Social Investment has been in the news a great deal lately. Whether it’s been driven by market failures within main stream lending institutions, or a desire to see more social and environmental return for every pound spent, social investment has come of age.
In 2011, the value of the social investment market place in the UK was £165m, rising over 20% the following year to £202m. And by 2016, it’s estimated to reach £1bn. However, having a ready supply of money doesn’t necessarily translate to increased lending.
As a charity and social enterprise ourselves, we understand the challenges faced not just in accessing capital, but simply getting to grips with the idea of taking on a loan. For this reason, Social Investment Scotland has been holding a series of `Investment Ready’ workshops, providing a safe space for organisations to raise their fears – whether real or perceived – about moving from the reliance on grant funding, to a mix of funding sources. And the conversations have been fantastic.
So what’s the general feeling coming from these workshops? Are there big changes on the way? You bet. Will it be an easy, smooth road to sustainability for all third sector organisations? Probably not – it’ll be more like hard graft and navigating speed bumps before we can begin to realise the opportunities this presents.
We also understand that taking on investment isn’t right for every organisation. However, for many others, the scale of opportunity means it’s not about making short terms decisions based on existing funding, but taking a look towards the future, making informed decisions about the type of finance that will best support the organisation maintain and increase its social impact.
There is no doubt that social investment can play a vital role, alongside others types of finance, in building a stronger, more resilient sector.
If you would like to come in and talk to one of our Investment Managers or to sign up to one of our workshops, get in touch by phone or email or visit www.socialinvestmentscotland.com
Chief Development Officer
Social Investment Scotland
12 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RX
Tel: 0131 558 7706
This post is part of a wider Social Enterprise Campaign – for more information visit www.interface-online.org.uk