Collaborating to support disadvantaged Scots

After presenting to delegates at the Scottish London Business Network, our Head of Investor Relations, Margaret Morton, looks at the importance of collaborating to effect change.

At its heart, venture philanthropy is about collaboration. At Inspiring Scotland, we firmly believe working with the right people regardless of their background and experience is the best way to solve difficult social problems. Having the opportunity to present to the Scottish London Business Network really reinforced how reaching the best people to develop innovative approaches, in any field, necessarily requires a collaborative approach which overcomes geographical and sectoral barriers.

Focusing on our work in Scotland, it can be easy to overlook the importance of our connection with London and the impact it already has. Our 14:19 Fund, which helps young, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach people in Scotland achieve their potential through education, training and employment, aims to work with 50,000 young people over 10 years. Since 2009, more than £6m in funding has come from London-based individuals and charitable trusts. Thanks to this backing, 14:19 Fund portfolio charities have already helped more than 22,000 young people to reach positive destinations.

But it is not just employability we are tackling; we are taking on childhood obesity and promoting academic attainment through our Go2Play fund, and fighting inequality and the complex and crippling effect it has on communities through our Link Up programme.

At Inspiring Scotland, we want to make a better Scotland through venture philanthropy. We work with visionary entrepreneurs, business people, philanthropists, charitable trusts and foundations and Scottish Government towards a shared goal of transforming how the most vulnerable in our society succeed in leading healthy and happy lives.

But, just as the Scottish London Business Network exists to facilitate greater opportunities for Scottish businesses in London and globally, we believe our work can have impact far beyond the Scottish border.

Over the coming months we are revitalising our approach and we will be calling on individuals and organisations to come forward to help us. Whether that is through developing new ideas, lending expertise, or through much-needed financial support, I can’t think of any better place to ask than the Scottish London Business Network.

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