Rachael Brown, Ambitions For Recovery Programme Facilitator

Rachael Brown, Ambitions for Recovery programme facilitator 

Leading responsible finance provider, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has launched a programme of support for Scotland’s social enterprise community, aimed at helping organisations to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and develop strategies for future growth.

The Ambitions for Recovery initiative, delivered thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and in partnership with Baillie Gifford, will support 20 social enterprise leaders to adapt to, and embrace, the opportunities available to them post-pandemic – highlighting the role social enterprises can play in building an impact-driven economy.

The Covid-19 crisis has placed a spotlight on the role of business in society and local communities, bringing issues such as sustainability and equality to the fore. With Ambitions for Recovery, SIS also hopes to address concerns that many of Scotland’s most impactful social enterprises, which have been active in building a sustainable stream of trading income, have found it more difficult to access support during the pandemic.

Alongside virtual coaching and professional mentoring, social enterprises will have the opportunity to access an interest-free recovery loan, as well as grant funding for business support, in part paid for by Baillie Gifford.

Commencing in August, the programme will cover topics such as leadership, pitching for investment, marketing and storytelling, strategies for growth and mental health coaching. A bespoke support package will be developed to match each organisation’s needs.

Alastair Davis, CEO of Social Investment Scotland, said: “As Scotland emerges from lockdown, many organisations are thinking about how they might return to normal, and the challenges that presents. For some social enterprise organisations, the pandemic has highlighted opportunities for new business models and routes to market. However, for others, a degree of change, restructuring and investment may be required to aid the shift from resilience to recovery. Our support programme is well placed to support these organisations.

“There is a fantastic opportunity for social enterprises to play a much more central role in our economies worldwide.  As Scotland looks to recovery, organisations that deliver goods and services with a wider impact could help us to grow a more sustainable and resilient economy. To do that, however, we need to support them to grow. By providing access to professional advice and potential investment, we hope to help them achieve their ambitions of both scaling up and increasing their positive impacts.”

The Ambitions for Recovery programme follows the success of two rounds of the SIS Ambitions Masterclass Programme, which has supported leaders of social purpose organisations to scale their impact. 

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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