RESPONSIBLE finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has started providing support for social enterprises dealing with the impact of coronavirus.

The Ambitions for Recovery initiative will support 20 social enterprise leaders to adapt to and embrace the opportunities available to them post-pandemic. The plans will deliver strategies for future growth while highlighting the role social enterprises can play in building an impact-driven economy.

The initiative will be run by programme facilitator Rachael Brown and is brought about thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and in partnership with Baillie Gifford.

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 and have found it more difficult to access support during the pandemic.

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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.

Starting next month, 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 SIS, 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.”

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.