Social Enterprise Places programme for Scotland

Delivered through the support of The Scottish Government and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Social Enterprise Scotland is piloting the Social Enterprise Places Programme for Scotland. Based on the wider UK initiative, and adapted for the Scottish context, we are looking to bring a focused look at our communities across Scotland and highlight areas that are keen to declare their status as hotspots of social enterprise activity.

Could it be you?

Callander became Scotland’s first Social Enterprise Town in September 2018 as part of the SEUK Places Programme.  The local community demonstrated a collaboration of a number of social enterprises in the area who used social enterprise activity to regenerate the small, tourist town in Stirlingshire.  There were two accommodation providers, an events management company, a community owned leisure centre, a number of shops on the Main Street as well as two larger social enterprises; Rural Stirling Housing Association and Clanranald Trust.  The ecosystem in Callander was supported by the community hydro scheme which generated over £100,000 per year to invest in local infrastructure development.  Callander mapped it’s economic contribution to the town and collectively demonstrated how social enterprise had made a significant difference to the area.

As highlighted in the latest census Scotland is well covered by Social Enterprise activity and the number of enterprises across Scotland combining business and social impact continues to increase. We are of course proud of all our communities taking a social enterprise approach and the Social Enterprise Places programme has been developed to share success, celebrate collaboration and raise awareness of the work our sector does to a broader audience, encouraging a wide variety of stakeholders to share their support.

We know how diverse our communities are and are aware that while some have established regional/local networks others operate more informally while holding to the same key goal of social impact and change. It is against this background that we launch our own version of the programme. While there are of course guidelines and criteria (critical for enabling panels and decision making) we are leaving it for you to define the best geographical zone for your application and highlight the key aims your community is trying to address.


This programme is open to all communities in Scotland and we hope to build up a map of a wide variety of Places demonstrating the difference social enterprise has made to their area. While a City wide approach may be suitable for some we are also aware that pockets of activity can operate within these zones and it may be better to focus on a smaller area where activity is more concentrated. We are keen that in highlighting pockets of activity that the work of our smaller rural communities may also gain a greater focus and we want this initiative to show the importance of different approaches in line with our differing community needs.

To apply you must be:

A town, city, village, island or other geographical zone that has:

  • Significant social enterprise activity (e.g number of social enterprises per capita)
  • Established a Social Enterprise Place stakeholder group (this can be a defined social enterprise network or a more informal, local stakeholder group)

You must be able to commit to:

  • Support and develop social enterprise in your area
  • Share knowledge and best practice about your Social Enterprise Place

Criteria and aims

We are looking for you to be able to demonstrate;

  1. Collaboration between groups in your ‘Place’ – both between SE’s and with a wider group of stakeholders as applicable to your area
  2. The impact social enterprise activity has made so far in your ‘Place’
  3. The ambition and approach you have moving forwards to continue and support social enterprise activity in your ‘Place’

Application process

In order to ensure a fair process, we are asking all applicants to complete the same basic form which will act as a key document for our assessment panel.


December 2019 / January 2020 – Social Enterprise Places events

Social Enterprise Scotland is organising a series of events across Scotland to raise awareness of the Places programme and to meet social enterprises and supporters in these areas.  These events are free to attend and you can find our more and book your place here. While in running a Places programme we are keen to run these events across a broad geography we are aware that distances may still be too far for some communities for whom Places could be a valuable initiative. Therefore, if you wish to hear more about Places but are unable to attend then please contact Naomi Johnson by 15th January 2020 and we can look to organise on online seminar/Zoom calls as appropriate for any areas that were unable to get to one of the events (e.g. too far to travel).

Monday 17 February 2020 – 12 noon – APPLICATION DEADLINE


As a Social Enterprise Place you will be joining a growing network of areas around the UK and the world who are hotspots of social enterprise activity. As part of the programme we will work with Scotland’s Places to put them ‘on the map’ – press, visits and use of the SE place logo. We are also currently working with Scotland’s first SE Place to look at how they have benefited thus far but also to see how we can build on this yet further. This is also why we have asked what you hope to gain from being an SE Place as part of your application so we can work with you as appropriate to make this happen.


For further information and for an application form please contact