Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network launch their new report, ‘Celebrate the good stuff’, today
All media Scotland, by Fiona Stewart
Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network (ESEN) has commissioned a report into the impact of social enterprise in the city – titled ‘Celebrate the Good Stuff’, as social enterprises number 200 and rising across the city.
The report reveals that the turnover of the sector has trebled from £44 million to £120 million in two years, with 94 per cent of the sector’s income generated from direct trading up from 75 per cent in 2013. There are also 8,000 people in the city involved in social enterprises as staff, volunteers or trainees.
Commenting on the social enterprise sector boom, Emma Galloway, chair of ESEN, said: “We have seen social enterprise become the model of choice for entrepreneurs who want to effect real change in the society and community.
“As a result of the work of the city’s social enterprises and ESEN, the Business Gateway and the City of Edinburgh Council Economic Development team, more and more people in Edinburgh are both finding out about social enterprise and making the choice to get involved.
Emma added: “New social entrepreneurs are coming from a variety of sources – universities, schools and colleges through to former sole traders wanting to operate their business with an ethical purpose at its very heart.”
The report also relates to the Social Enterprise Strategy for Edinburgh: (2013 – 2018) Enabling Enterprise as it moves into its second year of delivery.
With key highlights including the ‘Buy the Good Stuff’ marketing campaign promoting social enterprises to consumers; the running of Social in the Square, Scotland’s first social enterprise festival as well as initiatives to raise awareness of social enterprise amongst businesses, including the running of social enterprise markets at The Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters and social enterprises being invited to speak at the Business Gateway’s monthly Growth Club events.
Susan Harkins, Business Gateway manager, commented: “The study shows the huge range of social enterprises in Edinburgh selling at least 40 different product types and services and many selling outwith the city and overseas as well.
“One of the vital elements to success has been the shift from public sector support to selling to consumers direct – as the social enterprise market has matured.”
Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, Marco Biagi, said: “Social enterprises play an important role in supporting communities and delivering quality services, so it’s fantastic to celebrate their success and see them grow and evolve.
“Social enterprises help to improve people’s lives, they can reform public services and give people the chance to be involved in the design and delivery of the services and decisions that affect them.
“The Scottish Government has invested heavily in developing and supporting the sector and we look forward to considering what more we can do to boost social enterprises in the future, as its work is crucial to creating a fairer and more inclusive Scotland.”
Edinburgh’s Economy vice-convenor, Councillor Gordon Munro, said: “Over the last year, we have been calling on the general public to think about how they shop around the city and to consider purchasing from social enterprises.
“It’s clear from these impressive turnover figures that our call to action is working.
“We have a growing number of local businesses which provide great ideas and service, create jobs and support our local economy – all of us should celebrate and show our appreciation for this exciting and entrepreneurial community.”
This study has focussed solely on organisations that meet the Social Enterprise Code and have engaged with ESEN as social enterprises or that have defined themselves as social enterprise.