Social Enterprise Scotland comment on the Scottish Government Budget 2024-25

Posted: 21 December 2023, in Press Release

Social Enterprise Scotland, the national body that represents the diverse range of social enterprises across Scotland, has commented on the new Scottish Government budget for 2024-25.

The organisation has welcomed the Scottish Government’s ambition for Scotland to be at the forefront in Europe as a startup nation and their commitment to building strong, inclusive communities through social justice and poverty alleviation. However, they have raised concern by the lack of multi-year funding which is key to becoming a Fair Work Nation by 2025 and would have delivered on SG commitments to move towards Fair Funding for Scotland’s voluntary sector by 2026

Chris Martin, CEO of Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “Considering the government’s commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship, we would urge a parallel emphasis and resource towards social entrepreneurship. This dual approach is crucial for cultivating a balanced and inclusive economic landscape, where business success and social impact go hand in hand.

“In terms of Scotland’s Social Justice spending plans, where social enterprise is currently resourced within the Third Sector budget; the directorate continues to focus on building strong, inclusive communities through social justice and poverty alleviation. Key areas include re-establishing the independent living fund; continuing provision of free school meals. Increasing the Scottish child payment to £26.70 and rolling out access to digital connectivity to ensure no-one is left behind. This commitment to supporting vulnerable groups and alleviating poverty is welcomed and this budget highlights investments in social housing, child poverty, social security, and human rights which are instrumental in ensuring equal opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for all residents in Scotland. We were, however, disappointed that multi-year funding still hasn’t been rolled out by the Scottish Government, given our collective aspiration to be a Fair Work nation by 2025.

“It is important to address the budget allocation for the Third Sector in Scotland. While the allocation shows a marginal decrease from £21.2 million in 2023-24 to £21.1 million in 2024-25, it’s imperative to view this in the context of broader economic challenges and opportunities. This reduction, though impactful, also presents an opportunity for social enterprises, to innovate and diversify. Now, more than ever, there is a need for us to collectively explore new income streams and adopt enterprising approaches to sustain and grow our impact.

“In conclusion, Social Enterprise Scotland remains committed to working alongside the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to create a favourable policy landscape for social entrepreneurship to thrive. We believe that through collaborative efforts and innovative strategies, we can overcome the challenges posed by the budget constraints and continue to make meaningful contributions to Scotland’s social and economic outcomes.”