Social Enterprise Scotland Welcomes Move Towards Community Power

Posted: 07 June 2012, in Press Release

Date: Thursday 7 June 2012
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Duncan Thorp 0131 243 2654 / 07501 221 581

Social Enterprise Scotland welcomes move towards community power

Social Enterprise Scotland has welcomed the launch of new proposals, designed to make it easier for local communities to take over public sector buildings and land.

The campaigning voice for social enterprise says that the new Scottish Government Bill consultation, launched yesterday, could radically transform what we mean by “public ownership.”

The wide-ranging proposals include extending a ‘right to buy’ to urban areas, involving communities in setting local budgets and priorities, helping grow-your-own food initiatives and allowing community organisations to help design public services.

Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:

“These new proposals hold huge opportunities for Scotland’s innovative social enterprise movement. Direct community ownership and control of key public assets can fundamentally change and regenerate neglected parts of Scotland. The best decisions are made at the most local level possible and Social Enterprise Scotland will ensure that this unique opportunity to transform what we mean by “public ownership” and “public service” is not missed.”

Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent Scottish organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises across the country.


Notes to Editors:

1. What is social enterprise? Social enterprises are businesses that trade specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Social enterprises exist to make a profit just like any private sector business. However, instead of paying dividends to share holders, profits are reinvested into social and environmental purposes. Without making a profit, social enterprises cannot meet their objectives; they must trade, to be sustainable. The more profit made, the more can be invested in the purpose. This more-than-profit approach is used by, for example: Co-operatives and mutuals, Credit Unions, Housing Associations, Social Firms, Development Trusts and Community Interest Companies (CICs), operating in every corner of Scotland and in every sector of the economy.

2. What examples are there? Hebridean Chocolates (Stornoway), The Big Issue, Kibble (Paisley), The Engine Shed (Edinburgh), The Wise Group (Glasgow), Aberdeen Foyer, Bookdonors (Scottish Borders), Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus, Centre of Health and Wellbeing, Link Group Ltd (Edinburgh), Impact Arts, Skye Permaculture Ltd, Institute of Local Television, Media Co-op and North Glasgow Housing Association.

3. What is Social Enterprise Scotland? We are the national collective voice for social enterprise in Scotland. We bring together social enterprises and their supporters into a strong campaigning force for change, to represent the full range of social enterprises. We raise the profile of social enterprise as a dynamic business model, champion the values and benefits of social enterprise to a broad range of stakeholders and represent the needs and views of social enterprise to policy and decision-makers in Scotland. We are an independent and Scottish membership-led organisation. Membership is open to all social enterprises, their networks and intermediaries and supporters.