The move follows the integration of Foundation Scotland and Resilient Scotland, which manages the £15 million Jessica (Scotland) Trust, established by Foundation Scotland in 2011 with an endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.
The grant funder will begin offering “innovative social investment opportunities” to social enterprises in Scotland from this week.
The new “Investing in Enterprise Fund” offers between £10,000 and £500,000 to social enterprises as blended finance. Up to 50 per cent of the funding will be through grants with the remainder through loans. Foundation Scotland will reinvest all returned funds for additional social investment.
Chris Holloway, formerly head of Resilient Scotland and now head of social investment at Foundation Scotland, said, “The integration of Resilient Scotland into Foundation Scotland makes perfect sense for us as an organisation. However, most importantly, the move will offer significant benefits to Scotland’s thriving social enterprises.
“Collectively our knowledge, support and experience will enhance the holistic support provided to Scotland’s social enterprises. Groups will be able to come to Foundation Scotland for traditional grants, which they continue to need, and now also innovative investment opportunities.”
He added: “This is great timing for us as we paused all new support through the pandemic; instead, we have focused our support on our existing investees.
“For now, it’s business as usual for our current investees, and we very much look forward to opening our doors to new investees.”
Giles Ruck, chief executive of Foundation Scotland, said: “Across the last few years, we have witnessed a shift change from our donors. They have understood that the funding landscape is changing, and they’ve shown an increased appetite to provide communities with wider, longer-lasting funding opportunities.
“Across our 25-year history, we’ve never been needed more. We understand that the sector needs our committed, innovative support to help them build back better.
“Our integration with Resilient Scotland will support this and will bring many benefits to the third sector.”
Over the past 25 years, Foundation Scotland, which is a registered charity, has distributed more than £100m.