Social Finance Seminar

Social Finance Seminar
Friday 10 June, 1:30pm-5pm
MacRoberts, Semple Street, Edinburgh

Just a quick email to say a big thanks for joining us in Edinburgh on Friday.  It was a great discussion, covering a lot of ground and I certainly learnt a lot about what is happening in Scotland, much of which is very relevant to the rest of the UK.   I hope that you all feel you got some value from the conversation.

Duncan was right that covering such a broad range of issues meant that we only started to scratch the surface of really understanding what’s going on, but I hope that it will be the start of a conversation about how we create an eco-system – including the right finance and support – that enables innovative social enterprises (and ventures!) to flourish.  

As promised, I attach the links to the reports that Joe talked about – plenty more resources on our website and I’d recommend having a look.

·         Understanding the Demand and Supply of Social Finance (

·         Investing for the Good of Society (

·         Twenty Catalytic Investments to Grow the Social Investment Market (

In terms of follow up, I am keen that we build on this conversation and think about how NESTA’s work in this field could be useful in the Scottish context.   I am sure that means learning more about what you’re doing as well as exploring lessons from the rest of the UK that could be applied in Scotland.  I’ve already picked up a few follow up contacts.  Please do let me or Graeme know if there are other people that we should be engaging with. We’ll reflect on Jim’s suggestion that there is a need for some more research to understand the demand and supply of social investment in Scotland and also the points about tax incentives and the need for simple rather than sophisticated measurement.  

Thanks again to Duncan and MacRoberts for so generously hosting the event.

Best wishes

Philip Colligan | Executive Director – Public Services Lab


Jim Bennett – SKS Scotland
Duncan Sloan – Head of Community Banking, RBS
Fiona Malcolm – Third Sector Division, Scottish Government
Denise Swanson – Head of Employability and Skills, Scottish Government
Naomi Johnson – Chief Executive, FirstPort
Carolyn Sawers – Head of Policy, BIG
Niall Alexander – Rocket Science
Teresa Bray – Chief Executive, ChangeWorks
Sandy Campbell – Director, Working Rite
Craig Campbell – Chief Executive, Social Investments Scotland
Isobel Grigor – Chief Executive, Calman Trust
Aidan Pia – Executive Director, Senscot
Alasdair Nicholson – Chief Executive, Third Sector Hebrides
John Downie – Head of Public Affairs, SCVO
Duncan Osler – Partner, MacRoberts LLP
Claire Carpenter – Chief Executive, Melting Pot
Gerry Higgins – CEIS
Philip Colligan – Executive Director, Public Services Lab, NESTA
Graeme Downie – Communications Manager (Scotland & Northern Ireland), NESTA
Jackie McKenzie – Head of Innovation Programmes (Scotland), NESTA
Joe Ludlow – Director (Public Services Lab), NESTA
Tim Pope – Senior Development Manager, NESTA