SIS Ventures appoints Amir Rizwan as chair of investment committee

15th March, 2024

Amir Rizwan (1)

Scotland’s first specialist impact investor, SIS Ventures has appointed experienced impact finance expert Amir Rizwan to the key non-executive role of chair of its investment committee.

Amir, who also joins the SIS Ventures board, brings more than 15 years’ experience in impact investing and the financial services sector to the role. As director for the London Social Venture Fund project, he is currently responsible for leading a consortium of ten universities and eight private sector partners to deliver a social venture fund for London. The project proposes to raise an evergreen investment fund for social ventures that will use university-grown businesses to both make a difference across London and achieve a global reach. He also serves as fractional investment director for Daring Capital, connecting socially-led entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds with capital.

Previous roles include social investment manager at Macmillan Cancer Services, investor relations director at Big Society Capital, senior advisor for social investment innovation at Comic Relief and investment manager at community housing fund CAF Venturesome. Before specialising in impact finance, Amir spent around six years in the banking industry.

As chair of the Investment Committee at SIS Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Social Investment Scotland Group (SIS Group), Amir will support the venture capital firm’s ongoing fundraising efforts for the Impact First Fund and advise on the growth of its portfolio of early-stage impact-led businesses. Established in 2018 to support impact-led businesses in Scotland, the Impact First Fund has so far invested more than £6 million in 14 high-impact, high-growth potential businesses, all innovation-led and connected by a shared belief in business as a force for good. Since securing investment, these companies have subsequently secured £95 million in follow-on funding rounds.

Amir also holds several other trustee and non-executive director positions supporting a range of third-sector causes, including the Pathway Fund – which supports opportunities for black and ethnically minoritised communities across the UK – and the Clothworkers Foundation, an organisation delivering impact through grantmaking.

I have long held SIS in high esteem and been particularly impressed by the Group’s pioneering work as Scotland’s first impact investor. Having spent the last decade or so supporting organisations with their philanthropic investment activities, I’m looking forward to sharing that experience with the team at SIS Ventures and helping them kick on to the next level. We’ve got a great opportunity, alongside our partners and co-investors, to expand the market for impact-driven business in Scotland and play a leading role in developing an impact economy.” Amir Rizwan, Chair, SIS Ventures Investment Committee
Amir brings a wealth of both commercial and philanthropic experience to the investment committee and board, and we look forward to him joining the team. Building on SIS Group’s 20-year track record of providing responsible finance to boost impact, we have the knowledge and expertise to help the businesses we invest in to grow and become successful, as well as achieving their wider social or environmental ambitions. With fundraising ongoing for the Impact First Fund, we have a unique opportunity as Scotland’s first specialist in the area, to capitalise on an increased interest in impact among investors and demand for capital from ambitious businesses.” Arran Dewar, Executive Director, SIS Ventures