First Minister Pledges International Role at World’s Biggest Social Enterprise Event

Posted: 28 March 2012, in Press Release

Date: Tue 27 March 2012
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Duncan Thorp  07501 221 581


First Minister Alex Salmond pledges international role at world’s biggest social enterprise event

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, today pledged that Scotland would become an international hub for social enterprise, as he announced a new scheme to support global social business. The First Minister was speaking at The Social Enterprise Exchange, the world’s biggest social enterprise event, in Glasgow today.

First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, said:

‪“The announcement today of an annual programme to support global social enterprises, to be headquartered in Scotland, is a world first and a strong message of support for the Third Sector from Scottish Ministers.

“Scotland is already the global headquarters for the Homeless World Cup and the International Network of Street Papers. The provision of a grant to encourage other enterprises to come to Scotland is a demonstration of our strong support for the work that international social enterprises carry out, both in Scotland and around the world.”

Laurie Russell of Social Enterprise Scotland said:

“Attracting global social enterprises to set up their headquarters in Scotland is a demonstration that this really is the best country in the world for social enterprise. It also clearly shows that The Scottish Government means business and will be a huge boost to our international reputation.”

The Social Enterprise Exchange is a unique forum that brings together social enterprises and those wanting to do good business, with Scotland and the UK’s innovative social business movement. Organised by Social Enterprise Scotland, Social Enterprise UK and CEiS Events, the event is taking place today at the SECC in Glasgow.

Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent, Scottish, member-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises. Membership is open to anyone.


Notes to Editors:

1. For all information about the Social Enterprise Exchange event click here:

2. To download a high resolution image of the First Minister click here:

3. What is social enterprise? Social enterprises are businesses that trade specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Social enterprises exist to make a profit just like any private sector business. However, instead of paying dividends to share holders, profits are reinvested into social and environmental purposes. Without making a profit, social enterprises cannot meet their objectives; they must trade, to be sustainable. The more profit made, the more can be invested in the purpose. This more-than-profit approach is used by, for example: Co-operatives and mutuals, Credit Unions, Housing Associations, Social Firms, Development Trusts and Community Interest Companies (CICs), operating in every corner of Scotland and in every sector of the economy.

4. What examples are there? Hebridean Chocolates (Stornoway), The Big Issue, Kibble (Paisley), The Engine Shed (Edinburgh), The Wise Group (Glasgow), Aberdeen Foyer, Bookdonors (Scottish Borders), Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus, Centre of Health and Wellbeing, Link Group Ltd (Edinburgh), Impact Arts, Skye Permaculture Ltd, Institute of Local Television, Mediaco-op and North Glasgow Housing Association.

5. What is Social Enterprise Scotland? We are the national collective voice for social enterprise in Scotland. We bring together social enterprises and their supporters into a strong campaigning force, to represent the full range of social enterprises. We raise the profile of social enterprise as a dynamic business model, champion the values and benefits of social enterprise to a broad range of stakeholders and represent the needs and views of social enterprise to decision-makers in Scotland. We are an independent, Scottish, membership-led organisation. Membership is open to anyone.