The Time Is Now for Social Enterprise

Posted: 20 March 2013, in Press Release (#SocEntEx)

Date: Wednesday 20 March 2013

Embargo: Immediate

Contact: Duncan Thorp 0131 243 2654 / 07501 221 581


The time is now for social enterprise

Scotland’s social enterprise community is gearing up for the big Social Enterprise Exchange event at the SECC in Glasgow tomorrow (Thursday).

Organisers of the trade fair, networking and policy conference, Social Enterprise Scotland, say that now is the time for social enterprise to take the lead.

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

“This unique, showcase event is the best place to discover social enterprise in Scotland and beyond.

“We need to take real action on public service reform. It’s vital that we get better at communicating what social enterprise is and does in terms of jobs, regeneration and sustainable growth.

“The old models of public service delivery, traditional private businesses and charities are increasingly seen as failing to deliver – it’s social enterprise that is stepping into this role.”

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, The Scottish Government, said:

“Social enterprises make an important contribution to our social and economic well-being. They help create employment and skills opportunities, improve public services and support some of our hardest to reach communities.

“We need strong social enterprises that can play a full part in society and we are helping build these by investing £73.5m over three years (2012-15) to build the sector’s capacity and capability.”

To request a social enterprise feature of any length for print, for media to attend for free, for further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: / 07501 221 581.

All event information at:

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


Notes to Editors:

1 The Social Enterprise Exchange is organised by Social Enterprise Scotland – the independent, Scottish, membership-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises. We’re the first point of contact for social enterprise for the media and public. Find out more here:

2 What is Social Enterprise? Social enterprises are independent businesses that exist specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Read more here.

3 What examples are there? Diverse examples include: The Big Issue, The Wise Group, Divine Chocolate, Cornerstone, Kibble Education and Care Centre, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op, Glasgow Housing Association, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Link Group Ltd, the Eden Project in Cornwall, Capital Credit Union, The Grameen Foundation, Mondragon Corporation in the Basque Country and the Homeless World Cup.

4 Where can I see social enterprise in action? There’s probably a social enterprise running a shop, art gallery, sports centre or cafe in your local area – take a look at the Directory of Social Enterprise here or contact us. The media and others can contact us to arrange visits. Watch our short film about social enterprise in Scotland here.

5 What types of social enterprise exist? Social enterprise is a diverse community and the more-than-profit approach is used by a huge range of organisations, of every size, operating in every corner of Scotland and in most sectors of the economy. A social enterprise can simply be a Company Limited by Guarantee with an appropriate “asset lock” and social mission etc, it could also be a registered charity. These are some of the common types and a social enterprise is often one or more of these: Co-operatives and Mutuals, Social Firms, Community Interest Companies (CICs), Development Trusts, Credit Unions and Housing Associations (aka Registered Social Landlords or RSLs).