Extracts from The Scottish Government Economic Strategy regarding social enterprise

Extracts from The Scottish Government Economic Strategy regarding social enterprise
September 2011

Thanks to Duncan Thorp from Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition.

The Government Economic Strategy sets the direction for the public sector in Scotland. It focuses on six Strategic Priorities to strengthen the recovery, drive sustainable growth and develop a more resilient and adaptable economy.

• Recognising the contribution that social enterprises make to employment and economic activity
we will continue to support the third sector to increase its economic contribution by encouraging the social enterprise model.

Growth Sectors
The Government Economic Strategy sets out a framework which establishes an economic environment that provides an opportunity for all companies – large or small, Scottish or international, new or old, or social enterprises – to be successful.

The Growth Sectors indentified in the Government Economic Strategy include –

• Creative Industries (including digital)
• Energy (including renewables)
• Financial and Business Services
• Food and Drink (including
agriculture and fisheries)
• Life Sciences
• Sustainable Tourism
• Universities

Social Enterprise and The Third Sector

The third sector – comprising social enterprises, voluntary organisations and community organisations – makes a direct impact on the growth of Scotland’s economy, the wellbeing of its citizens and the improvement of its public services. As the needs of the environment and of the disadvantaged are at the heart of the third sector’s work, there is a real role for the sector in ensuring services meet the needs of communities, are focussed on prevention and that economic growth meets the needs of all.

The third sector has a vital contribution to make to our Equity Strategic Priority. It reaches individuals and communities, including the young, the old and the long-term unemployed, that the public and private sectors do not always effectively engage with. The third sector can, and does, change peoples lives. In particular, it strengthens community resilience and sense of well being, and supports community engagement in the design and delivery of public services. It is the primary source of support for volunteering which not only helps deliver services that make communities stronger and support vulnerable people but builds skills and self-development that can improve employability prospects.

The Scottish Government is committed to the development of an enterprising third sector in Scotland. We will do this by:

• Supporting social enterprise, as part of our investment in the third sector, ensuring provision of support from start-up to business maturity through the Just Enterprise programme which will complement the services available through Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and HIE; Continuing to invest in those enterprising third sector organisations with the greatest potential to succeed; and

• Working with the public sector to ensure that the third sector is appropriately involved in the design and delivery of services that are focused on the needs of the user, continually improving and are focused on prevention.

Case study: Fyne Futures provides an example of the role that the third sector can play. Formed in 2004 to help achieve the environmental and community goals of local groups based in Bute, the social enterprise has already proved to be a big success. It has established an award winning purpose built recycling centre in Rothesay to process waste from an ever expanding kerbside collection service to the surrounding area. Capital grants awarded from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Third Sector Enterprise Fund have allowed the group to start converting used cooking oil into biodiesel to power the fleet of large vehicles used by the centre.

See full Government Economic Strategy here