Welcome to SIS Ventures

Investing in impactful enterprises to help address society’s greatest challenges and needs.

Looking to invest? Get in touch using the form below or email hello@socialinvestmentscotland.com.

Impact

At SIS Ventures we believe that impactful enterprises, those that deliver profit with purpose, should be the bedrock of society; supported with the full power of the investor community.

We seek a commitment from an entrepreneur to lock the social mission into their company; ensuring that social impact and financial success are symbiotic and the organisation is accountable for the impact it creates.

Our Approach

SIS Ventures seeks to work with outstanding individuals committed to creating long-term, scalable social impact. These are businesses that seek to combine more traditional business objectives with the creation of social impact at scale. SIS Ventures is a flexible investor and will look to co-invest alongside other mission-aligned investors.

Our Terms

A mission-led business embeds social impact into the DNA of the organisation; measuring success based on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits. The social mission must be clearly articulated and locked in, beginning with intent and resulting in tangible outcomes.

Each investee company will receive one to one support from an independent impact advisor at the beginning of the investment ro ensure an effective mission lock is in place.

Diversity & Equality

SIS Ventures will back diverse teams with a positive and enabling culture; actively seeking founders from under-represented groups and ensuring appropriate equality policies are in place at investee level.

About

SIS Ventures is part of the Social Investment Scotland group and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. We aim to support and grow high impact organisations through access to mission-aligned investment. Our goal is to become the go to investor and partner for social entrepreneurs. With the work of social entrepreneurs helping shape a more vibrant and cohesive economy, the experienced SIS Ventures team will support in creating greater social change.

Read our latest annual accounts here.

Our first fund raises new capital, utilising both EIS and SITR tax reliefs, to support both social enterprises (like charities and community interest companies) and mission-driven businesses. The latter will be expected to lock in their social mission in return for investment, underlining the importance of purpose to the very foundation of their businesses. The fund will offer conventional financial returns alongside social and/or environmental returns by investing either equity or debt into purpose driven companies.

Seeking Investment?

The following information gives guidance on the criteria that we look for when determining whether an investment proposal is suitable for SIS Ventures.


We are here to support impactful organisations.


SIS Ventures puts impact first. We invest for impact regardless of legal structure.


We seek a commitment from an entrepreneur to lock the social mission into their company; ensuring that social impact and financial success go hand-in-hand.


SIS Ventures is particularly interested in investing for growth in high-impact potential organisations that are close to or already trading.


Where possible, we are keen to invest alongside others.


If you are mission-driven private business, you will need to be Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) eligible.

Our Team

The SIS Ventures team is a talented mix of impact investors, traditional investment managers who understand the market opportunity, and individuals who are compelled to make their investments drive positive impact.

Jill Arnold

Jill Arnold

Head of SIS Ventures

As head of SIS Ventures, Jill is responsible for leading our mission to support and grow high impact organisations through access to impact-led investment. Jill, a chartered accountant, brings a wealth of experience in mission-aligned investment to SIS Ventures. Jill began her career at Arthur Andersen and joined us from RBS, where she transacted deals in the mid-market private equity space and most recently led the enterprise strand of the bank’s purpose-led strategy. She also launched the ‘Back Her Business’ initiative, the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding programme that supports would-be entrepreneurs and led the bank’s partnership with The Prince’s Trust.

Alastair Davis

Alastair Davis

SIS Chief Executive, Director of SIS Ventures

Alastair joined SIS in 2009 initially to run the investment team, however in 2011, Alastair became SIS’s chief executive. Before joining SIS he worked with Bank of Scotland’s community banking, where he developed his broad and extensive knowledge of social investment. In 2012, Alastair completed the prestigious ‘Strategic Perspectives in Non Profit Management’ programme at Harvard Business School and in 2017 was awarded a fellowship of the Chartered Banker Institute.

Alistair Johnstone

Alistair Johnstone

Head of Credit & Compliance

Alistair, who started at SIS in 2011, is responsible for the group’s credit risk and compliance functions. Alistair provides strong direction and to support investment policy, risk, and compliance across the SIS Group. Alistair is able to support all types of organisations through SIS due to his extensive financial and relationship skills. Before his career at SIS, Alistair joined Bank of Scotland where he worked for over 20 years in various roles.

Lindsay Wake

Lindsay Wake

Head of Impact

Lindsay is the impact lead at SIS Ventures and SIS. Lindsay is responsible for devising the organisation’s impact strategy and supporting mission-driven enterprises develop social impact practices. Lindsay has more than 16 years of experience supporting and advising purpose-driven organisations. Her experience includes developing social impact practices both in-house and for SIS customers, delivering market-building activities for the social sector and developing an impact-led approach for one of the UK’s leading affordable housing providers.

Rob Halliday

Rob Halliday

Senior Investment Manager

Prior to SIS Ventures, Rob held the role of lead fund manager at SIS – leading the due diligence process for new investment proposals and managing a portfolio of SIS’s customers. He is responsible for the delivery of the SIS Ventures investment policy, working closely with the Investment Committee to ensure the fund objectives are met. Rob has a wealth of experience making and managing impactful investments to wide range of sectors including community renewables, arts and culture and consumer products.

Siobhan Moore

Siobhan Moore

Investment Manager

Siobhan is a chartered accountant with a wealth of experience, primarily working with owner-managed businesses. Siobhan spent over seven years working in Johnston Carmichael’s Corporate Finance team where she provided strategic advice and guidance to clients across a wide range of sectors and at all stages of the business life cycle. She enjoys working with entrepreneurs, using her experience to nurture and advise individuals and teams as their businesses grow to scale. Siobhan joins SIS from Finsbury Food Group and is looking forward to working with the existing SIS Ventures portfolio and meeting lots of new purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

Our Board

The SIS Ventures team are supported by a fantastic board that bring their breadth of knowledge, experience and strategic vision from a variety of sectors.

David Ovens

Chair

David has 25 years of investment banking experience, having worked for Samuel Montagu & Company, Noble Grossart, Bank of Scotland Corporate and Noble & Company (Haitong Securities), where he was Head of Investment Banking in Scotland.

In 2010, David was a founder partner and subsequently CEO of Invercap, an investment boutique based in Edinburgh. He is now joint managing director of Archangel Investors and has responsibility for the management of the Archangels’ business and has invested across a number of its portfolio companies.

He is a non-executive director of LINC Scotland, the trade association for angel investors in Scotland and, as a keen runner, sits on the board of directors at Scottish Athletics.

Amanda Young

Amanda Young

Amanda is the global head of responsible investment at Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) where she and her team support clients to ensure their values are reflected in their investment strategies to include ethical, sustainability, climate and impact issues. She previously worked at Newton Investment Management, CCLA Investment Management and Rabobank International.

She currently chairs the FTSE Russell ESG Advisory Committee and represents ASI on the Sustainability and Responsible Investment Committee of the Investment Association.  She served on the board of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) for six years and has led a workstream for the UK Government’s Taskforce on social impact.

Amanda has featured in the Financial News ‘100 Most Influential Women in Finance’ in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Bill Crossan

Bill Crossan

Bill is the chair of private equity firm, Growth Capital Partners, which he founded in 1999.

He has over 30 years’ experience investing in growing mid-market companies, both from an equity perspective with 3i and Close Brothers, and from a senior lenders position with the Bank of Scotland. Bill is also a qualified engineer and worked in the industry for several years prior to joining the financial services sector.

Bill remains on the board, having been the first chair of SIS Ventures when it was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of SIS back in 2018.

Mike Wooderson

Mike Wooderson

In a career spanning 40 years, Mike, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland has held senior management positions within Lloyds Banking Group, HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland, including numerous directorships of subsidiary companies and joint ventures both in the UK and overseas.

Following a career break to focus on family and personal interests, Mike joined SIS Ventures as chair of the Investment Committee and in 2020, he became a member of the SIS Risk Committee.

Mike, an experienced investor and business management professional, brings knowledge and expertise from across a wide range of sectors and geographies

Morag McNeill

Morag McNeill

Morag has over 25 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer. She was a partner in McGrigors for 13 years and then spent nearly eight years as general counsel at Forth Ports plc. On leaving Forth Ports, Morag was keen to become involved in the third sector and now sits on the board of a number of charities.

Morag is a member of the Law Society of Scotland, on the board of Family Action in Rogerfield & Easterhouse, and Aberdeen Harbour Board, and is a trustee at Social Bite Fund. Morag also holds non-executive positions with Caledonian Maritime Assets, Scottish Event Campus and The Rowatt Research Institute.

Outside work Morag sings in an amateur choir and spends Saturday and Sunday mornings on the touchline watching her son play rugby.

Dr Susan Aktemel

Susan started life in adult education and in 1991 she committed to using these skills to help people improve their lives. From 1994-2012 she created and grew Impact Arts, now a leading Scottish charity.

Susan went on to establish Homes For Good, Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency, and has raised over £12.5 million in social investment since 2014.

In 2017 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Strathclyde University for achievements in Social Enterprise, and in 2019 was inducted into the Strathclyde Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs.  She was then awarded the inaugural Trinity College Social Innovation Prize at Judge Business School Cambridge. She was appointed as visiting professor in Social Entrepreneurship at the Hunter Centre, Strathclyde Business School in February 2020, and became a senior enterprise fellow in 2021.

Susan is also an entrepreneurial fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and a commissioner on the Adebolwale Commission on social investment.

Thomas Gillan

A chartered accountant, Thomas started out in corporate finance with RSM Tenon, working mostly with high-growth SaaS companies at various stages of their development.

He joined SIS in 2012 and spent eight years working with a range of SME’s seeking debt and equity funding, and latterly he became deputy CEO. In 2018, he led the formation of SIS Ventures Limited as a wholly owned subsidiary of SIS, to provide early-stage venture capital funds investing purpose-led businesses across Scotland, where he remains on the board.

Thomas is chief financial officer with BR-DGE and a non-executive director at Brewgooder.

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Entrepreneurs

If you have plans to grow and deliver impact at scale, or believe there is someone in your network we should talk to, please get in touch.

Investors

If you would like to learn more about the details of our model and social impact investment, please get in touch.

Partners

At SIS Ventures we believe in the power of partnership and collaboration. Let us know if we can support you with your objectives.