Reflections on the Social Enterprise World Forum – Chris Martin

Posted: 29 October 2019, in News

I was part of a delegation of over 20 Scottish social entrepreneurs attending the SEWF in Addis Ababa. It was an overwhelming experience as the city of Addis is growing at a fast pace and there is a commitment to ensure that social enterprise remains at the heart of it.  Aside from the conference we were welcomed at a diverse mix of social enterprises contributing to social change. From community development and regeneration projects who came together to provide burial services and a school “because we didn’t have access to those services” to an amazing woman from Motherwell who married an Ethiopian man and developed a business in an idyllic part of the world to offer local people jobs and holistic support. A stark reminder that social enterprise takes many forms and important for them all to flourish if social enterprise is to become the business model of choice. Personally I have been extremely humbled over this trip, I have witnessed poverty that I never have seen before yet resilience and kindness, also on a level I have never seen before. It was an absolute privilege to be in Africa with such passionate people who care about social change. Social Enterprise is an international movement and I am keen to bring my learning back to implement in Scotland.