Investment Readiness: Big phrase, massive opportunity!

SIS---Interface-imageSocial 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

Andrew MillsonAndrew Millson

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

One thought on “Investment Readiness: Big phrase, massive opportunity!

  1. Richard Crooks

    In 2011 our social enterprise worked with Interface with the view to manufacture Geodesic structures. It was finally decided that this was going to be a difficult outcome so we have concentrated on our core project of community green space regeneration.
    We are going to progress an initiative to develop a horticultural growing food initiative in a 2.5 acre site in Auchinleck. The main objective is to encourage a better eating habit among our community and providing various foodstuffs from honey to specialised vegetables,
    to restaurants,hotels,hospitals and at home elderly.
    We will eventually have cooking demonstrations in our new Community Centre adjacent to the growing space.
    Since 2010 we have employed some 50 young people to develop their
    skills and certification. This will continue with Modern Apprenticeships and university courses.
    It may be possible that we can partner contacts through Interface on say bee keeping, mushroom growing, landscaping in the initial stages of development. There has been a significant amount of groundwork with a business plan,feasability study, topographical survey and an architect plans submitted to funders. The outcome from funders is due shortly, and we feel confident we will succeed in raising the finance.

    Yours Sincerely
    Richard Crooks
    Vice Chair Auchinleck Community Development Initiative
    Boswell Centre
    18 Well Road


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