One million Scots benefit from social investment

Social Investment Scotland report highlights the impact of social enterprises and charities across Scotland

Social Investment Scotland Chairman Nick Kuenssberg and Chief Executive Alastair Davis in their office on Broughton Place
More than 1 million Scots have benefited either directly or indirectly from social investment over the past year, according to Social Investment Scotland’s (SIS) latest annual Social Impact report.
The 2017 report, published today (Monday, 9 October), is the result of in-depth research amongst 130 SIS customers comprising social enterprises, charities and community organisations to measure the impact of investment on their social and economic goals.
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 (0-15% SIMD areas).
The benefit of these activities is felt across every local authority in Scotland with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Highlands & 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 £9m to £182m, the number of customers becoming financially sustainable, a key success indicator, increased. 25% of customers reported no grant funding, relying on trading and other income instead, 7% more than in 2016.
Seven in 10 (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 (6,873 employees and 4,843 FTEs expected at the end of 2018, compared to a total of 6,500 and 4,495 FTEs reported at end 2016).
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%) of customers. 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 GVA.
Social Investment Scotland’s 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.
“While economic conditions over the past year have been testing, our customers remain broadly optimistic about both their revenue and employment prospects over the coming years. At SIS we have been doing a lot of work with organisations across Scotland to help them become more investment-ready and this appears to be paying off. Only by becoming more financially sustainable can these organisations plan for the future, targeting growth, greater employment and increased impacts.”
Nick Kuenssberg, Chairman, Social Investment Scotland 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.”
The full report can be found here