Resource description, files and detail

2nd Meeting of Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise, Tue 20 March 2012 – Scotland’s social enterprise policy forum

Posted: 08 May 2012

Doc Type(s): About Social Enterprise Scotland

The Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise in The Scottish Parliament is Scotland’s social enterprise policy forum. You can now see the agenda and report from this meeting below. The keynote speaker was Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney MSP.

You can see details of the Purpose of the group, MSP involvement and the external member list etc. on The Scottish Parliament website here.

What are Cross-Party Groups in The Scottish Parliament? Cross-Party Groups (CPGs) provide an opportunity for Members of all parties, outside organisations and members of the public to meet and discuss a shared interest in a particular cause or subject.


2nd meeting of Scotland’s Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise in The Scottish Parliament

Scotland’s social enterprise policy forum

Tuesday 20 March, 12.45 start

(external guests please arrive at 12.30 at the latest to get through security)

Committee Room 3, The Scottish Parliament

The theme of this meeting is “The role of social enterprises in designing and delivering public services”. John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, will join us for the debate. The local election manifesto for social enterprise will also be formally launched at this event. External guests please make all bookings through the website here, MSPs and staff please inform the Office of Chic Brodie MSP. Details of purpose/membership of the group here.


12:30 Arrival at The Scottish Parliament (external guests please arrive at 12.30 at the latest to get through security and to be taken to the relevant room).

12:45 Networking and light lunch provided.

13:00 Introduction by Convener, Chic Brodie MSP and launch of the social enterprise manifesto for the local elections.

13:10 The purpose and outcomes of the group and any suggested changes (please see purpose below).

13:15 Views and experiences on “The role of social enterprises in designing and delivering public services”

13:30 Discussion with John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth.

14:00 Networking.

14:15 Meeting ends (sector communications and policy group meeting continues, venue tbc).

If you need a contact or information after the event please email: duncan.thorp@socialenterprise.scot.

The purpose of this group is:

  • To promote the growth and success of social enterprises across Scotland
  • To help raise awareness and understanding among MSPs, public and media
  • To promote the role of social enterprises in designing and delivering public services
  • To help open private sector business opportunities to social enterprises
  • To demonstrate the wide-ranging social impacts of social enterprise in Scotland

Founder MSPs

Chic Brodie MSP (Scottish National Party) – Convener

Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Greens) – Vice Convener

Gavin Brown MSP (Scottish Conservatives)

John Park MSP (Scottish Labour)

Tavish Scott MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats)


Report from 2nd Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise in The Scottish Parliament meeting

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Chaired By Chic Brodie MSP

Margaret Paterson, ACE Recycling CiC – Highlighted the possibility of local social enterprise champions for local councillors to liaise with.

Annabelle Ewing MSP – an audit of local social enterprises?

Laurie Russell, Social Enterprise Scotland – We have local Social Enterprise Networks who capture much of this information. Would be beneficial to build closer relationships with elected members and others at a local level.

Neil Findlay MSP – some councils seeing the idea of social enterprise as simply a “selling off” opportunity, need to be wary of this approach.

Shona Maguire, SEAM – We need to focus our efforts more on local councils and not just with MSPs and parliament.

Heather Sim, Space Unlimited – What we want to learn and explore is delivering the kind of Scotland we want and to better understand the contribution of social enterprises to society.

Laurie Russell, Social Enterprise Scotland – made the point about social enterprise role in jobs and job creation.

Patrick Harvie MSP – The group should be about discussing and debating and as a space for creative and innovative thinking. To feed into MSP policy making and thinking.

Alex Richardson, The Gladiator Programme – Redistribution of wealth, not stifling the free market but prioritising community benefit and regeneration.

Sandy Watson, Scottish Enterprise – Education and awareness raising in academia.

Chic Brodie MSP – College participation in the group would be welcome.

Kenneth Fleming, Glasgow Caledonian University – We already have the Yunus Centre at GCU and also the new qualification in social enterprise.

Laurie Russell, Social Enterprise Scotland – Edinburgh Napier, Strathclyde and GCU all do work around social enterprise but more could be done in partnership with academia.

Shona Maguire, SEAM – highlighted a student networking project that is both useful and free.

Artur Steinerowski, SAC – Mentioned an EU project that engages older people in social enterprise.

David Fryer, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations – Highlighted health and intervention and said that multi-sector engagement should also be the aim of the group.

Neil Findlay MSP – Social enterprises to design and, only where appropriate, deliver public services e.g. not running schools.

Rachel Milne, Dial-a-Community Bus – Social enterprises can in fact run a school – why not? We need true partnership working. Also need to involve academic institutions in social enterprise, those outwith the central belt, Aberdeenshire exists too.

Laurie Russell, Social Enterprise Scotland – Mentioned the Enterprise Growth Fund.

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth – Committed to the development of the sector. Good to have wide diversity in service delivery. Attracted by range of different social enterprise and other models. Impressed by the sector, as part of the wider third sector, in terms of outcomes. Necessity for further development of social enterprise. Business ownership models – greater plurality in economically challenging circumstances. Social enterprises need to be more involved in service delivery, procurement reform – recent projects involving third sector. Scottish Government officials are engaged with the sector and want to ensure ministers are too. There is a strong and substantive role for the social enterprise sector.

Patrick Harvie MSP – Decentralisation of power in Scotland in line with social enterprise support? It’s also about the broader issue of Scotland’s future. Also there is a disruption of services in the current climate. Control of services is still held by councils.

John Swinney MSP – Need a shift in design and delivery of services, already a work in progress i.e. procurement reform and the Sustainable Procurement Bill, the Bill needs strong foundations. Current models of delivery not working, need accpetance that new models are needed. This is core to reform – not an ‘add on’. We are not following the model south of the border of competition.

Alex Richardson, The Gladiator Programme – Referred to speech by Theresa May. Third sector if indpendence happens must be stronger and take more of a central role. Warning that the social sector can be exploited by the public sector. We perhaps need a social sector ombudsman.

John Swinney MSP – An ombudsman means that a system has failed. Just need reassurance that opportunities are available. Inclusion and opportunity is the key.

Pauline Graham, CEO, Social Firms Scotland – The new Bill will be great, need to consider how we do things differently post-Christie report. How does public services reform fit with procurement reform?

John Swinney MSP – I deal with service reform, while the Minister Alex Neil deals with procurement reform. This is all joined up together in Cabinet sub-committee. We need to hear clear views and positions on the Sustainable Procurement Bill from the sector.

Heather Sim, Space Unlimited – We need action research or learning to understand the values and practical purpose of social enterprise, to contribute to policy thinking.

John Swinney MSP – In terms of health services and councils and reform we are making big progress. It’s about building trust – as well as agreed outcomes of achievement. Challenges with parts of public sector joining up – impetus and joined up practice is needed.

Fraser Kelly, CEO, Social Enterprise Scotland – Youth employment and UK policy. In the context of the Work Programme, how can we better influence the assessment of framework contracts and specifically where evidenced that social enterprises meet, and exceed, DWP performance thresholds, satisfy financial capability assessments and quality standards yet lose out to full service companies on discount. 

John Swinney MSP – A huge trick was missed regarding good outcomes by the UK Government, no ‘sensitive’ approach to moving people into the workplace. e.g. personalisation, empathy and practical motivation etc. Closed minded approach by DWP.

Shona Maguire, SEAM – Difficulties and challenges with expanding and growing for social enterprises.

John Swinney MSP – Enhancing capability of social enterprises, making them stronger and more robust, making social enterprise a more ‘regular feature’ of public service delivery. Also mentioned the UK work programme. 


External organisations

Social Enterprise Scotland


Social Firms Scotland

Social Investment Scotland

MacRoberts LLP

Centre of Health and Wellbeing

Sikh Sanjog

Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus/ DAB Plus c.i.c

Community Enterprise

Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE)

Alloa Community Enterprises

PlanB Money & Debt Advice Support Services

Health Inequalities Alliance Ltd

Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL)

Community Growing Solutions CiC

Co-operative Development Scotland

Kibble Education and Care Centre

Scottish Sports Association

Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber

Impact Arts

Media Co-op

Development Trusts Association Scotland