Social enterprise fund targets 'purpose-driven' businesses hit by Covid and cost-of-living crisis

A social enterprise fund has re-opened to support the post-pandemic recovery and help profit-for-good organisations tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

By Scott Reid
Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:45 pm

A second round of funding has been made available by Social Investment Scotland (SIS) through its Recovery and Resilience Fund, with loans of up to £1.6 million on offer.

The fund is welcoming applications for flexible loan funding which is designed to support Scottish “purpose-driven” organisations that have been the hardest hit over the past two years of lockdowns and restrictions.

The fund was set up in October 2021 but has re-opened to provide social enterprises and charities with a financial boost amid ongoing economic recovery.

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Organisations will be able to apply for loan funding starting from £200,000, with low interest rates, no arrangement fees, no repayments for the first 12 months and further repayments scheduled over a five-year period.

SIS head of investments, Chris Jamieson, said: “The third sector and social enterprises were a critical community lifeline during the pandemic, but the end of lockdown hasn’t necessarily meant an instant return to normality for them, particularly when it comes to income generation.

“We know that many of Scotland’s most impactful organisations and purpose-led organisations found it difficult during the pandemic to access the support they needed, and that demand for funding still exists, particularly with the cost-of-living crisis.

“As we continue to rebuild Scotland’s economy - building back better - it’s time to turn up the volume and ensure social enterprises and charities play a critical role in providing goods and services that deliver impact as well as profit.”

Dougie Baird, chief executive at the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, one of the organisations to have so far benefited from the funding.

Three Scottish organisations that have so far benefited from a combined funding package of £1.35m through the fund, supporting their post-pandemic return to normality are Glasgow community anchor organisation The Mungo Foundation, communications support charity Sense Scotland, and Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland. Each received £350,000, £600,000 and £400,000 respectively.

Dougie Baird, chief executive at the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, said: “The pandemic really could not have come at a worse time for us as we were coming to the end of our biggest project to date, The Mountains and The People Project, and led to increased costs and reduced revenues.”

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