Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition Drives Support for Sector at Annual MSP Reception

Posted: 17 November 2010, in Press Release

The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition has launched a Charter to rally support for the social enterprise movement in Scotland, at its annual MSP reception to celebrate Social Enterprise Day at the Scottish Parliament.

The Charter provides an opportunity for people to demonstrate their support for social enterprise in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2011.

The Coalition’s MSP reception, hosted by Patrick Harvie MSP, brought together exhibiting social enterprises, MSPs, leading supporters from business and local government and Coalition members from across Scotland.

Antonia Swinson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, said: “This was a very busy and exciting evening for the Coalition, and for social enterprises across Scotland. The reception was an opportunity to showcase the impressive work that social enterprises are delivering.  It demonstrates how the social enterprise movement is increasingly impacting on the way we do business, driving positive change in communities.  We’re keen to rally support for the sector by encouraging as many people as we can to sign up for our Charter.”

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce was the keynote speaker. She said: “In just a few short years social enterprise has become an increasingly important part of Scotland’s business scene. The number of social enterprises joining the Chambers of Commerce is on the rise and this exciting business movement is sparking real interest from the private sector, which is looking for opportunities to work with social enterprises. I encourage everyone to sign up to the Charter for Social Enterprise and support the work that social enterprises are doing across the country, delivering quality jobs and training and regenerating local communities.

The Coalition also used the reception to launch its second annual Social Enterprise Awards, a competition to find Scotland’s best social enterprises. Social enterprises are invited to submit entries the following categories:

  • Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year
  • Social Enterprise Leader of the Year
  • Young Person’s Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Social Enterprise of the Year

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh in February 2011 and the best social enterprises from the Scottish awards will go on to compete against Northern Ireland, England and Wales at the UK national awards at the Voice ’11 conference at O2 Arena in London in March 30th.

The event also marked the start of the registration process for the Coalitions annual S2S Social Enterprise Fair, which will take place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Wednesday 20 April 2011. The fair is the biggest trading platform for social enterprises in Scotland, which brings together social enterprises, private sector and voluntary sector organisations from across the country.

People can sign up to the Charter by visiting

For further information about the Social Enterprise Awards, visit

For further information about the S2S Social Enterprise Fair, visit  


For further information please contact Jenny Oxbrow at Weber Shandwick on 0131 556 6649 or email

Notes to editors:

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.