For the last 20 years NatWest Social & Community Capital Fund (S&CC) has been a leading supporter and champion of the UK community finance sector, providing support to organisations such as not-for-profit businesses which can’t achieve mainstream funding. It is unique in UK banking and, thanks to its support, numerous community organisations throughout the country have been able to scale, grow and maintain the valuable community services they provide.
A key part of what makes S&CC so special in its support of social business is that lending decisions are made by a panel of experts, with social impact being an essential part of the application.
The impact that S&CC has on the organisations it supports is profound. Megan Peat, Chief Executive of S&CC describes the reaction of one of those organisations: “I visited a customer recently to give them the good news that our credit panel had approved their loan. It was a challenging time for them and their sense of relief was clear. They were so delighted I even got a hug! It’s a real privilege to be able to support social enterprises that care so deeply about their mission. Telling them that we would like to support them to have an even greater impact is easily the best part of my job.
“It’s sometimes easy to forget how crucial a role finance plays for social enterprises and how a loan at the right price and at the right time can make a huge difference.”
Megan was appointed CEO in 2015, having joined NatWest in 2007 from a US investment bank. Her background in debt structuring, networking and deal origination across the international financial institutions sector laid excellent foundations for her leadership in Social Enterprise. Megan also sits on the board of responsible lender Scotcash, and is now recognised as one of the UK’s most prominent leaders in this field. With a long career of personal achievements, she describes her most proud moments as hearing the stories of the work her customers do.
Megan works closely sharing insights and experience across the UK, and continues to recognise achievements through the NatWest SE100 Index celebrating the growth, impact and resilience of social ventures in the UK by naming the most impressive 100 social enterprises of the year in the Index. Her personal ethos mirrors that of the Fund – and one that oversees continued growth and impact in our UK communities.
The NatWest Social & Community Capital Fund recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, offering a series of grants of £20,000 for each of the UK regions to allow organisations to develop projects that create direct social impact on a community with need, and have the potential to become a sustainable product or service.
The Fund remains an integral part of NatWest’s strategy to make a positive difference to local communities. “We work together with a range of partners and networks to create opportunities and initiatives aimed at strengthening social enterprise”.
In addition to the Community Fund’s priorities, Megan aims to promote networking and discussion and to support purpose-led decision making and impact, sponsoring the WISE100 index of leading women in social enterprise and hosting a series of networking lunches and dinners around the country.
Megan added: “I am so proud of the role the Community Finance team plays in recognising that social enterprises have a vitally important role to play in helping create vibrant, healthy and supportive communities. We in turn support these enterprises through loan funding and support from S&CC, as well as helping with wider market support and awareness.”
£3.8M In loans approved, up 90% on last year
£3.9M Total loans value lent to 20 organisations
£1.3M towards employment training and education
96% of customers said the S&CC team’s understanding of their mission and values was good or very good
◗ For more information and to make an enquiry, visit www.natwest.com/sccc