World’s Biggest Social Enterprise Event in Glasgow

Posted: 22 February 2012, in Press Release

Date: Wednesday 22 February 2012
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Duncan Thorp 0131 243 2654 / 07501 221 581


World’s biggest social enterprise event in Glasgow

The world’s biggest social enterprise event – the Social Enterprise Exchange ( – is taking place in Glasgow on Tuesday 27 March.

Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark, as well as UK Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, will be joined by Jim Duffy of Entrepreneurial Spark, David Carleton of Farestart/Catalyst Kitchens, Seattle and Caroline Mason of Big Society Capital, among many others, to make up a truly world class selection of speakers at this unique event. 

In addition to an outstanding programme, the event organisers – Social Enterprise Scotland, CEiS Events and Social Enterprise UK – have announced that 80% of the event’s supply chain will be made up of social enterprises. A number of films about the event are online here.

Fraser Kelly of Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “We’re getting really excited as the event date gets nearer. We’re particularly pleased about the breadth and depth of our social enterprise supply chain, which shows that the sector has the knowledge, experience and capacity to deliver a major international event. They’re proof that business can be a force for good in our society. With an outstanding range of speakers, a waiting list for  stands and with over 800 delegates already booked, anyone who hasn’t yet secured their place needs to get their skates on.”

Social Enterprise Scotland and Social Enterprise UK have joined forces, bringing together the Scottish S2S and UK Voice events for the first time, to stage the world’s biggest social enterprise event. Delegates are travelling from as far as Brazil, Finland, Ghana, Italy, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Canada and the USA to find out more about our social enterprise movement and to take part in study visits to see Scottish social enterprises in action. Delegates will hear from speakers, including successful social entrepreneurs and have access to 1:1 business clinics, as well as a busy trade fair.

Delegate bags are being supplied by SoFair ( This social enterprise works in partnership with Vandanamu Ethical Cotton (VEC), an employer of local women who were affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Women are paid fair wages and have good working conditions.

Entertainment on the day is going to be provided by The Walking Theatre Company and Drumatik – an inclusive community drumming group from West Fife that works with people with learning disabilities.

Behind the scenes professional pictures will be taken by Becky Duncan Photography, which puts its profits into Open Aye, a provider of photography workshops for hard to reach groups in Scotland. The team behind the cameras filming will be from the Wise Group, one of Scotland’s most well know social enterprises.

Full details about the event, including bookings, all supplier details, sponsorship opportunities and the programme of speakers is at: A number of films about the event are online here.



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, mediaco-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, 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.