A specialist from Strathclyde Business School has been appointed to chair the investment arm of Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency as it enters the next phase of an ambitious growth plan.
John Anderson, Head of SME Engagement at Strathclyde Business School, is joining award-winning Homes for Good, created in 2014 to develop a portfolio of quality homes for people on low income and housing benefit who have limited choice in the housing market.
The business buys empty and dilapidated properties then transforms them into high quality homes. The properties are managed by its sister company Homes for Good Scotland (CIC), a letting agency run as a social enterprise, placing ethics, social change and tenants’ wellbeing at the centre of its business model – and on an equal footing with generating income.
To date, the business has raised £8 million in equity and loan investment, and transformed over 140 properties, 75 per cent of which are located in Glasgow. Its backers include Impact Ventures UK, Charity Bank and Big Society Capital. In 2015 it was named Outstanding Initiative of the Year by Shelter Scotland for developing 49 empty homes, and last year was named Social Enterprise of the Year at both the Scottish Social Enterprise Awards and the Scottish Business Awards.
Anderson brings considerable entrepreneurial experience to his new role at Homes for Good Investments, including an impressive track record in non-executive chairman and director roles for a number of high-growth businesses.
In 2014, he co-founded Entrepreneurial Scotland, the leading member network for Scottish business entrepreneurs, having previously been chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange for more than 12 years. He also acts as programme director for Strathclyde’s pioneering Growth Advantage Programme which delivers accessible and practical learning for leaders of ambitious businesses in Scotland.
“I am delighted to be joining Homes for Good at this important time and to be working with the business as it enters the next phase in its ambitious growth plan,” said Anderson. “I have always believed in the potential for business to combine strong financial performance with creating social impact and improving lives, and this business is a perfect example. Susan Aktemel and her team have made remarkable progress over the last three years, and I now look forward to helping drive that continued expansion across Scotland.”
Aktemel, director of Homes for Good, welcomed Anderson to the organisation which she said was at an “exciting crossroads in its journey”.
“John shares our commitment to social business, and the central role of housing in people’s lives, and I know that his wealth of experience in business will be invaluable as we go forward,” she said.
Homes for Good has recently relocated to new premises in Bridgeton, having identified the area as having a significantly higher percentage of households living in the private rented sector than the average for Glasgow as a whole.
Located on Bridgeton Main Street, the new premises include a dedicated support and information hub for tenants in the private rented sector – the first of its kind in Scotland – alongside the company’s new headquarters from where it will manage a growing portfolio of properties throughout the Central Belt and west of Scotland.
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