‘Working with Andrea Paterson has enabled us to look at better ways of growing our organisation and highlighted the issues which had to be overcome. Many business managers see planning, budgeting and forecasting as a source of pain and dissatisfaction, but with the help of Andrea we have created a very robust business plan which is proving to be a great reference point as we move forward. It has helped us generate consensus within the board about direction and goals – effectively painting a picture of what we want Scotcash to look like in five years-time.’
In 2007, Glasgow City Council (“GCC”) and Glasgow Housing Association (“GHA”) founded Scotcash, a not-for-profit, social enterprise and a Community Interest Company (CIC) as a key element of the financial inclusion agenda for the City. Scotcash fills a gap in the market by providing financial products and services to low income households in and around Glasgow who are unable to access mainstream financial services, such as those available from banks and building societies. Since 2007 Scotcash has provided:
Like many projects Scotcash was reliant on annual subsidies and the sustainability of its funding structure was of critical concern to its founding partners.
In 2012, GCC and GHA jointly appointed Andrea Paterson of i.s.4 to establish ways in which Scotcash could develop its financial strategy to become independent and sustainable over the longer term. This involved:
From a period of strategic uncertainty in 2012, Scotcash is now thriving and has experienced considerable growth in the past 3 years. It also has impressive plans for the future. In it’s report into the ‘poverty premium’, Citizens Advice Scotland describes Scotcash as “one of the most successful CDFIs currently operating in the UK” and strongly recommended that the Scotcash model be replicated across Scotland, in order to enable low-income consumers to access affordable finance products and services. This echoes the sentiment in the Carnegie Trust report also published earlier this year.