Social Enterprise Sector Welcomes New Moves Towards Better Communities

Posted: 04 September 2012, in Press Release

Date: Tuesday 4 September 2012
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Duncan Thorp 0131 243 2654 / 07501 221 581

Social enterprise sector welcomes new moves towards better communities

Scotland’s social enterprise community has welcomed the announcement today in parliament on reform of public procurement, in addition to forthcoming moves towards radical community empowerment. Today’s pledges form part of the new Scottish Government Programme.

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

“We welcome the opportunities for major procurement reform and community empowerment, as well as in adult health and social care. We trust that The Scottish Government will listen carefully to the expertise of the social enterprise community, so that we can boost our social economy and improve lives. These changes have the potential to transform Scotland and the opportunity for radical reform should not be missed. We’re ready to work in partnership with government and parliament to deliver for Scotland’s third sector and communities.”

Pauline Graham, CEO of Social Firms Scotland said:

“We welcome the engagement we have had to date with Alex Neil and the Procurement Reform Bill team and look forward to getting to a point where it is easier for social enterprises to do business with the public sector through sustainable procurement. I’m optimistic that the Bill will be ambitious and in time demonstrate the innovative and central role of Scotland’s local social enterprises in delivering community benefits through public procurement. We will continue to work with government to reform both procurement and public services, endorsing the government’s focus around preventative approaches and sustainable development.”

Aidan Pia, Executive Director of Senscot said:

“Senscot welcomes the introduction of the Procurement Reform Bill by The Scottish Government. The Bill will increase the opportunities for the social enterprise community to make a greater contribution to the delivery of public services within their local communities.”


Notes to Editors:

1. What is social enterprise? Social enterprises are independent businesses that exist specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Social enterprises operate in all markets, selling goods and services to individual consumers, local authorities, central government and private businesses. Social enterprises exist to make a profit just like any private sector business. However, profits or surpluses they make are always reinvested into their social and environmental purposes, they have an ‘asset lock’. Without making a profit, social enterprises cannot meet their social and environmental objectives – they must trade to be sustainable. The term “social enterprise” should not be confused with, for example, private sector businesses that operate in an ethical way, charities that do not trade or trade very little or public sector arms-length companies.

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? Social Enterprise Scotland is The Voice of Social Enterprise – bringing together social enterprises and their supporters into a strong campaigning force. We are your gateway to Scotland’s social enterprise community. Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent, Scottish, membership-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises. Membership is open to anyone. We are based in Edinburgh city centre with a staff team of five (four full-time and one part-time) plus one part-time office volunteer. We are a registered Company Limited by Guarantee: SC294227. We were originally incorporated in 2005 as the ‘Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition’ and rebranded at the end of 2011 as ‘Social Enterprise Scotland’. We work in partnership with many other organisations in and outwith the broad social enterprise movement, in particular with Social Firms Scotland, Senscot and The Scottish Government.