Our 'UK regional and national spotlight' campaign focuses on ‘Place’, spotlighting the power of social investment from each and every corner of the UK. Today, we’re spotlighting the Scotland...
Scotland has approximately 790 islands, is home to the biggest waterfall in Britain which at 658 feet is three times the height of the Niagara Falls and the official animal for the nation is the unicorn.
Renowned for beautiful loch views, this nation has a thriving social enterprise ecosystem and there's no shortage of creative, innovative solutions to tackle some of the country's most prevalent social issues.
In this blog, we focus on all of the content we have from Scotland to spotlight and celebrate all the fantastic social investment activity that we have captured there over the years.
Scotland: Case studies
One of the best ways to learn more about social investment and how it can be used is through examples. Good Finance has 115 case studies and counting – here we spotlight just five recent stories from Scotland...
The Ledge Inverness
The Ledge is a registered Scottish charity dedicated to changing lives for the better via the medium of climbing. Climbing helps build confidence, teamwork, and resilience. It helps develop diverse skill sets, improves focus, and increases co-ordination. On top of all that, it’s a whole heap of fun! Learn more about their experiences with social investment via their case study.
Homes for Good
Homes for Good, Scotland's pioneering social enterprise letting agency, focuses on providing quality, affordable homes and supporting tenants. Their approach, backed by social investment, has made a substantial difference in addressing housing issues in Scotland. Check out their case study to see how they are transforming the housing sector and lives in their communities.
The Freedom Bakery trains prisoners at a maximum security prison, HMP Low Moss, to make artisan bread. By teaching skills and qualifications, as well as recreating the structure of a working day, the bakery aims to increase the employability of prisoners and reduce re-offending. Read the full case study or watch the video to learn more about the social impact they create for the communities they serve.
Trees for Life
Trees for Life is dedicated to rewilding the Scottish Highlands by planting native trees and restoring natural habitats. With the help of social investment, they have been able to expand their conservation efforts significantly. Discover more about their mission to reconnect people with nature and create a wilder Scotland in their inspiring case study.
Portpatrick Harbour is a picturesque harbour in Scotland, maintained by the local community. They used social investment to preserve this historic site and keep it accessible for everyone. Dive into their case study to learn how this project protected a piece of Scottish heritage.
Check out our Case Study Mapper and filter by Scotland to view all of the case studies we have from organisations that have harnessed the power of social investment in Scotland.
Have you got a social investment story to tell? We’d love to spotlight more examples of social investment in action in Scotland to support organisations that are currently exploring repayable finance. You can submit your experiences online here, alternatively email email@example.com to arrange content collection.
We also have various blogs, media and news from the Scotland that help to provide a place-based perspective on the region. From guest blogs and opinion pieces to interviews with investees, here’s two must-reads...
Reducing re-offending with artisan bread
Discover the unique story of how artisan bread is helping to reduce re-offending rates in Scotland. This blog explores a remarkable initiative where the art of bread-making is more than just a craft; it's a pathway to rehabilitation and a new start for former offenders.
Home Nations Taking Centre Stage
In celebration of International Women's Day 2020, this blog spotlights incredible women-led social enterprises across the Home Nations, including Scotland. Learn about their inspiring journeys, the challenges they've overcome, and how they're shaping a more equitable future through social entrepreneurship.
Scotland: Listen and Watch
Over the years, we've ran various events, both in-person and online and captured some of our amazing 'Hear From a Peer' speakers as they reflect on their experiences with social investment. We also have over 75 Podcasts, all of which are available to listen to via the streaming service of your choice. Here's our pick for Scotland...
Let's Talk Good Finance: Sport & Social Impact
Dive into the world of sport and its profound social impact with the 'Let's Talk Good Finance: Sport & Social Impact' session, now available on demand. This engaging discussion brings to light how sports-based organisations and projects are utilising social investment to drive positive change in communities. Gain insights from experts and practitioners in the field, including Alasdair Lawton, CFO at The Ledge Inverness, and discover the significant role sport plays in fostering community development and wellbeing.
Watch now to be inspired, connect with like-minded individuals and discover more real life examples of social investment within the world of sport.
Spotlight on: Social and Sustainable Capital
Tracy Thomson is a Loans Officer at Royal Bank of Scotland Social and Sustainable Capital. They aim to offer alternative funding to business charities and social enterprises who don't qualify for mainstream loans.
They provided the social investment for The Ledge Inverness, featured above in the case study section.
We were delighted to catch up with Tracy on her key thoughts and reflections from 2023, some top tips for organisations exploring social investment and her hopes for 2024 and beyond!
What has been your highlight for 2023?
We have had a record year for the Fund in the number of organisations across the UK we have been able to support since coming out of Covid, showing that social investment has never been more needed to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Do you have any standout social investment deals that you think demonstrate the resilience of the charity / social enterprise sector?
We have supported an organisation in the Northeast of Scotland with a VAT bridging facility that ensured their cashflow was protected while completing a huge renovation project to benefit the community. What they are doing is breathing life, commerce, and vitality into the town centre of Huntly.
What would be your #1 tip for a charity or social enterprise at the very start of their journey with social investment?
Speak to other organisations that have borrowed before seeking their advice and speak to your bank as there may be other options that would suit the organisation better such as small overdrafts, business debit or credit cards or asset finance. Banks have an array of protects that not all social lenders have access to that can be really useful.
What’s one myth that you hear about social investment that you’d like to debunk once and for all?
That we are only interested in large loans, our lending starts at £30,000 which makes us very accessible as a funder.
Is there anything specific about the social investment space in Scotland that you’d like to mention?
Scotland has a very well-developed social enterprise space and it is important to have connections and support of your community and funders who know your area.
What are your key objectives and goals for 2024?
For me, it is to support more organisations based in Scotland, and be known as a go to funder for the region.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge(s) for 2024 and beyond?
As the future is uncertain, supporting organisations to be resilient and diverse in their income streams to ensure they are around to continue their great work in their communities.
What is one hope that you have for the future of social investment?
I would hope that we didn’t have to exist, and that social investment was in the mainstream banking arena
What’s one hope you have for the future in general?
I hope that we can all make enough small changes to our lives so that our planet last way into the future.
What is your favourite festive song?
It has to be Wham- Last Christmas!!
Have a browse off various regional and national spotlight's across the UK!
- Spotlight series: West Midlands
- Spotlight series: East Midlands
- Spotlight series: South West
- Spotlight series: South East
- Spotlight series: London
- Spotlight series: North West
- Spotlight series: Yorkshire and Humber
- Spotlight series: East England
- Spotlight series: North East
- Spotlight series: Northern Ireland
- Spotlight series: Wales