Social Economy on the Up

Posted: 30 March 2010, in Press Release

Data, released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, shows social economy turnover stood at £3,064 million as at March 2009. This represents a 4.3 per cent increase on the previous year.

Welcoming the findings John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, said:

“It is very encouraging to see a real terms increase in social economy turnover in Scotland.

“It shows how increasingly important the third sector is becoming to the Scottish economy. Enterprising third sector organisations both help sustain employment in communities, provide effective service delivery and support some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“The Scottish Government is firmly committed to the development of a strong and sustainable third sector. That’s why we have increased development funding in the current Spending Review period by over a third – with a number of organisations now reaping the benefits of our investment, enterprise and resilience funds.

“We will continue to do all we can, working with our third sector partners, to help the sector go from strength to strength and encourage the wider public sector to tap into its undoubted skills and expertise.”

Antonia Swinson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, said:

“The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition welcomes this increase in social economy turnover. The fact that social enterprises in Scotland are growing faster than mainstream businesses can be attributed to the trading skills and innovation of our social entrepreneurs and the supportive environment for social enterprise created by the Scottish Government with widespread cross party support.”

Lucy McTernan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“These figures appear to broadly support SCVO’s own research which shows that the third sector’s income has grown over the last two years.

“However, what may not be immediately apparent is the even greater increase in demand for the services we provide and in the resources the sector has to spend to meet that demand.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government in partnership to help us deliver high quality services.”

The estimated social economy turnover uses a proxy methodology based around data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register and the Scottish Housing Regulator.