The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition: Five Years On

Posted: 20 December 2010, in News

The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition celebrates the 5th anniversary since its incorporation this month. It will mark the milestone with a members’ ‘birthday party’ at The Lot in Edinburgh next week (Wednesday 22 December).

The Coalition is the collective membership-led policy and campaigning voice for social enterprise – businesses with a social or environmental purpose – in Scotland. It now represents over 2,500 members across the country, operating eight different business models across 32 business sectors.

Antonia Swinson, chief executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, said: “Scotland has a proud history of social enterprise, the inventor of the world’s first savings bank, mutual insurer and co op. We launched the Coalition in 2005 with the intention of reclaiming social enterprise, working together to champion this unique business model to policy makers.

“Social enterprise is changing the way we do business and driving positive change in communities across Scotland. Our rapid growth and success over the last five years demonstrates this strong appetite for change, as society looks for additional benefits and real added value in products and services.”

Reviewing some of the Coalition’s key milestones and achievements:

  • Since its inception in December 2005, the Coalition has engaged across the political spectrum, reaching a landmark achievement in 2007, when it successfully campaigned for a differentiated Government strategy for social enterprise. In the May 2007 elections, all major political parties included social enterprise in their manifestos.
  • The Coalition recently launched a Charter to rally support for social enterprise in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2011. It’s Manifesto for Social Enterprise calls on all Scottish parties to work with them to ensure that Scotland becomes a world market leader in social enterprise. To view the Manifesto and sign the Charter visit
  • The Coalition has developed the S2S Social Enterprise Fair which takes place each April. It is now firmly established as Scotland’s must-attend social enterprise event.  
  • The Coalition is also breaking new ground with the private sector through engagement with key business organisations such as the SCDI and Scottish Chambers of Commerce with their Community of Business programme of events. .
  • Over the last two years, the Coalition’s Ipsos MORI poll surveys have highlighted a marked change in public attitudes towards social enterprise, with over two thirds (69%) of Scots now aware of what social enterprises are.

The Social Enterprise Scotland Awards run by the Coalition are now established as Scotland’s premier awards for the movement.