Member of the Week - Social Investment Scotland

SIS, Social Investment Scotland, is a charity and social enterprise. SIS provide investment for other charities and social enterprises looking to make a positive impact on people’s lives, society or the environment. Since we started in 2001, they’ve invested nearly £60 million in organisations across Scotland.

SIS has a staff of 20 and is currently recruiting some new colleagues.

Eileen joined SIS in October 2013, as their Investment Manager who covers the Highlands and Islands.  Eileen has developed strong networks across all sectors and has a wealth of practical and personal advice and support to develop community and social enterprises across the region.  Eileen started her career with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and was involved with various community and business projects which spanned over 20 years. In 2002, she joined the Bank of Scotland as a Business Manager, managing a portfolio of 300 business connections.  She moved to retail banking as an Area Lending Manager, then to Wealth and International as a Private Banking Manager.  Eileen is based in Inverness and occasionally you will find her at a ‘hot desk’ space within the HIE offices at An Lochran.  Eileen is happy to speak to anyone who is interested in finding out more about SIS or discuss any ideas they may have for Social Enterprise in the Highlands and Islands, her contact details are held on the SIS website.

We asked Eileen why Social Investment Scotland would like to feature as member of the week: “We are just embarking on a series of ‘Preparing for Investment’ events throughout the Highlands and Islands, supported by HIE, which could be of interest for Chamber members.

The workshops, delivered in conjunction with Community Shares Scotland and Firstport, will consider how social investment can be used to start, grow or develop community and social enterprise.  Full of tips and advice on raising finance we will look at what it means to be ‘investment ready’ and give participants a greater understanding of risk, rates and appropriateness of the different ways of raising money.”

SIS will hold its first workshop in a series in Wick on Tuesday 27th March on “Preparing for Investment” where you can enjoy a free lunch while learning more. If you can’t make the workshop, you listen to the podcast here

SIS have a ‘Diagnostic Toolkit’ feature on their website which is free to use and will allow organisations to determine how ‘Investment ready’ they are with signposting to useful next steps

Social Investment Scotland shared with us their business plans over the next 12 months: “To continue to support social enterprises and charities by providing investments at all stages of the journey: advice through our workshops and investment managers, the investment itself and the on-going relationships we build.”"Social investing refers to the provision of financial investment to enable an organisation to make positive social impact" Check out our new podcast!

SIS was recently awarded the fund management mandate for Big Society Capital’s Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF), a £30M fund designed to meet the needs of small businesses that create positive social impact in their local communities.

We asked SIS what they value most about Chamber membership: “Networking and connections. Our chamber membership provides a great choice of events to attend which are usually very topical – the opportunity to meet interesting and new people working in our area is a highly effective way of growing your network of contacts.”

Eileen provided her ‘top-tip’ for making the most of membership: “I have always found the Chamber team helpful and provide a fantastic service, whether you want to feature on their ‘member of the week’ or attendance at their networking lunches / events or dinners, they are always there for you – try to visit their website regularly to see what’s going which helps you plan in advance!”

Facebook: @socialinvestmentscotland
Twitter: @socialinvestscot