New fund offers investors social return
Investors will soon have the opportunity to invest their money in a new fund which aims to provide a social, as well as financial, return on investment.
SIS Community Capital has been developed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS), a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI).
As one of the first social investment tax relief funds available to UK investors, SIS Community Capital will allow individuals to invest in a fund which provides tax relief but also helps to support the creation and growth of charities, community organisations and social enterprises that have the capability to make sustainable social and environmental impacts.
Scheduled to launch on 18 May 2015, SIS is aiming to attract an initial tranche of up to £500,000 investment from UK based investors. The money will be used to support between five and 10 social enterprises in Scotland. Tax relief for investors will be provided in the form of a 30% relief on their investment from their income tax liability. NCM Fund Services Limited, based in Edinburgh, will be responsible for ensuring compliance of all Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated activities of the fund.
Evidence suggests that demand for such a fund is high amongst certain UK investors. A report from ClearlySo and Big Society Capital in 2013 estimated that the retail investor market could generate £165 million of new social investment capital over the next three years and £480 million over the next five years. The report was based on research by Ipsos Mori highlighting unmet appetite for social investment amongst High Net Worth Individuals, who wanted their money to 'do good'. Key to unlocking this new source of capital, for both investors actively and passively interested in social investment was the creation of a tax relief, which has subsequently been provided in the form of SITR.
Having highlighted an aspiration to seek social investment from individuals within our five year strategy- Framework for Growth - SIS Community Capital now provides us with a chance to realise that goal. If successful, the pilot will provide a strong platform for future SITR backed funds, providing a new source of capital for SIS. And ultimately, this means that we can make a real difference to the lives of more people and communities across Scotland.