RBS empowers social enterprises to accelerate community impact

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RBS empowers social enterprises to accelerate community impact

RBS's Inspiring Social Enterprise programme has supported 5,349 social enterprises over a three-year period.

Inspiring Social Enterprise has been focused on increasing the size and strength of the UK’s social enterprises.


RBS Inspiring Enterprise launched in December 2012 to help unlock entrepreneurial talent across the UK. As part of this, RBS committed to support 2,500 social organisations, working in partnership with the sector to improve access to expertise, markets and finance by the end of 2015.

Inspiring Social Enterprise has been focused on increasing the size and strength of the UK’s social enterprises. The bank delivered programmes and activities to provide the funding, networks and advice needed to increase both their economic and social impact in communities across the UK. 

Access to finance - RBS Social & Community Capital

RBS supported social entrepreneurs to access finance through the independent charity, RBS Social & Community Capital (S&CC). The S&CC lends to community-based organisations that traditionally struggle to access finance through mainstream channels. RBS S&CC has approved lending of over £5m since 2012 to community lenders and social enterprises, helping them to increase community impact.


One organisation to benefit has been Clydesdale Community Initiatives Scotland (CCI Scotland). CCI Scotland promotes social inclusion through creating work opportunities in landscape construction for individuals with a range of support needs. Thanks to a loan from S&CC, it has been able to develop and grow its operations, including funding the creation of a new bespoke facility.


Niall McShannon, Managing Director at CCI Scotland, said:


"We were very fortunate that we were able to access significant funding and with the assistance of RBS. We’ve now been able to create a world-class enterprise and inclusion facility.”


Access to expertise - the NatWest SE100 Index

Inspiring Social Enterprise has also worked with partners who have supported and championed social enterprises in the UK. Tim West, a social enterprise expert and former journalist, founded the SE100 Index to address the need for social enterprises to demonstrate the scale of their community impact through data. With the support of Inspiring Social Enterprise, the NatWest SE100 Index expanded from an annual survey into a sophisticated website that captures the live data of 1,400 social enterprises.


This data is then used to demonstrate that social enterprises can deliver robust returns and financial success, as well as track the way in which social enterprises achieve their double bottom line: social impact alongside profitability.


One social enterprise to benefit from the NatWest SE100 Index is Pinkspiration, which up-skills young people for the construction industry while rebuilding empty spaces and unoccupied shops across the UK. So far, Pinkspiration has trained 3,500 young people, with 70% progressing into training, employment or start-ups.


Lisa Marie Brown, Founder of Pinkspiration, commented:


"Being a part of the NatWest SE100 Index has raised awareness of our business, helped us network with like-minded organisations and been a great way to promote our work.



Commenting on the Inspiring Social Enterprise figures, Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes at RBS said:

“We are delighted that Inspiring Social Enterprise has been able to support so many businesses, far more than we anticipated. For RBS, being able to provide support for social enterprises so they can go on and create an even bigger impact for their local communities is very rewarding.  We would like to congratulate each and every enterprise we have worked with for making a real difference”.

While Inspiring Enterprise has come to an end, the bank continues to focus on supporting enterprise and entrepreneurs as one of the most important ways that we can support the economy and drive growth.

Our Inspiring Women in Enterprise results will follow next week, along with the release of a report detailing the full impact of Inspiring Enterprise as a whole.

Find out more about how Inspiring Enterprise has supported social enterprise over the past three years.


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