Dear Friends and Supporters Welcome to the Summer 2017 newsletter which is reporting on activity for a whole year! Somehow the Winter one didn’t get done. It was partly because we were so busy but also because I kept thinking that I was going to be able to make an exciting announcement – being accepted onto a European Loan Guarantee Scheme was going to trigger major investment and enable us to do a lot more. Our application for the loan guarantee was set for approval in July 2016 just as Brexit happened – and has been stalled ever since. We have been pursuing alternatives, assuming that it is never going to happen and in fact have had some significant investment from more individual investors under the Community Investment Tax Relief Scheme.
Purple Shoots was set up as a not-for-profit microfinance organisation which means it provides small loans to individuals trying to start or run a small business who cannot get funding from anywhere else – the aim is to encourage economic
development in the most disadvantaged areas of Wales through enabling people struggling with unemployment to set up their own business. In addition to the individual loans, Purple Shoots is also helping people further away from selfemployment through self-reliant groups- getting small groups of people together and helping them rebuild confidence, identify skills and develop income generating ideas. We have just had a video made, which focuses on our self-reliant groups, by a local Welsh business, Luminous Media. They have done a really good job and you can view the video (which is about 4 minutes long) on our website www.purpleshoots.org.
In July, Purple Shoots passed ¾ million pounds in loans since it started at the end of 2013, all loans of £3000 or less. To date we have made 346 loans. Of those 265 were to unemployed people starting new businesses and the rest either to existing small businesses or follow on loans to original borrowers to allow them to expand. 41% of the lending has been in areas which are in top 30% of levels of multiple deprivation. Many of the loans have led to employing additional people so I think we can comfortably claim to have created well over 300 jobs. The Responsible Finance Association developed a tool
for measuring economic impact in conjunction with a university which takes into account things like benefits saved, increasing local spending power as well as negative factors like displacement, and using this, the impact of our lending is roughly 10 times the figure loaned, so £7.5 million.