Latest Ipsos MORI Poll Results

Posted: 02 September 2010, in Press Release

Scots’ awareness of the country’s social enterprise movement continues to rise, according to the latest Ipsos MORI Poll results.

The poll, commissioned by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, shows that well over two thirds of those surveyed (69%) know about social enterprises – businesses with a social or environmental purpose.

The findings highlight a 15 per cent increase in Scots’ knowledge of social enterprise in the last year alone, reflecting the growing influence of social enterprises in communities across the nation. Social enterprises are estimated to add around £2 billion to the Scottish economy every year.

The poll measured interest around community-led energy projects (for example windfarms and hydro-electric generation), with over half of Scots (51%), and particularly those between 18 and 34 years old, stating that they would be interested in helping to set up and run a project. Most believe the Government should support these local projects (73%).

The results also show a strong appetite for the Government and public sector organisations to integrate the concept of social enterprise into procurement practices. Over 70 per cent of people believe that, when buying goods or services from suppliers, ensuring that the supplier passes on some additional benefits to the local community should be most important in their decision.

Antonia Swinson, chief executive of The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, said: “We’re delighted to see that the trend is continuing, with more and more people displaying knowledge of social enterprises. Social enterprises are having a positive impact on the lives of individuals across Scotland and these latest results show that they are continuing to drive changes in the way we think about business.

“We now look for real value for money in our purchases, not just the lowest price. Through increased engagement with social enterprises, we are helping to support the impressive work that these businesses are delivering in communities across Scotland.”

Scotland now has an estimated 3,000 social enterprises.


Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition. For more information, please contact: Jenny Oxbrow on 0131 556 6649 or email

Notes to editors:

Summary of Results August 2010

Results are based on a survey of 1,013 respondents conducted by telephone between 16th August and 19th August

Question 1 – Before this interview, in general, how much would you say you knew about social enterprises?

  • Over a quarter (28%), know a great deal (4%) or a fair amount (24%) – an increase of 8 percentage points since August 2009.
  • 41% said they did not know very much about social enterprises.

Question 2 – When Government and public sector organisations buy goods and services from suppliers, which should be most important in their decision?

  • Seven out of ten people in Scotland believe the Government and public sector organisations should ensure that the supplier passes on some benefits to the local community (71%).
    • A quarter (25%) believed getting the job done at the lowest price.

Question 3 – Thinking specifically about renewable energy schemes such as windfarms or hydro-electric generation, do you think the Scottish Government should give financial support to local communities to set up and run their own projects, or should local communities and companies bid for the projects without any government subsidy?

  • 73% of people think the Government should support local projects while 20% think there should be competition without any subsidy.

Question 4 – How interested would you be in helping to set up and run a community-led energy project?

  • Over half of respondents (51%) would be very interested (12%) or fairly interested (39%).
  • 25% were not very interested and 23% were not interested at all.

Social Enterprise

Social enterprises trade specifically to deliver a social purpose. This is a distinct business movement, with roots in the voluntary sector which is increasingly recognised for its power to transform communities and the lives of individuals. Key models include housing associations, co-ops, credit unions, community interest companies, development trusts and social firms operating across a range of sectors including renewable energy, social care, social housing, tourism and cultural services and recycling.

Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition

The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition is the collective membership-led policy and campaigning voice for social enterprise in Scotland. It represents the needs of social enterprise to politicians, policy makers and opinion formers. Members and associates include national and regional intermediary organisations, individual social enterprises and key supporters of the sector. Its aim is to add value to its members’ work and achieve maximum impact for the sector, ensuring it is widely represented in policy development.