Firstport publishes landmark report
Firstport has today published “Start Something Good”– a landmark report that sheds a light on the journey, psyche and impact of start up social enterprises in Scotland.
The report comes five years on from the point at which Firstport worked with the Scottish Government to create a groundbreaking joint funding programme for social entrepreneurs – The Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The report shows that the fund, in combination with a business support package provided by Firstport, has served to radically reshape and strengthen the support for social entrepreneurs in Scotland.
Since 2009, Firstport has worked with 3,400 individuals and invested £3m in 524 of them to help them test, refine and grow social enterprise ideas. Those who continue in their journey on average create 2.7 jobs, 16 volunteering places and generate an average turnover of £56K within two years. Survival rates of these early ventures are encouraging, with 3 out of 5 still in existence after 5 years.
The Social Entrepreneurs Fund is part of a wider strategy by the Scottish Government to build the capacity, capability and financial sustainability of the social enterprise sector.
John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, said: “Social enterprises are vital to supporting our economic recovery, creating employment and skills opportunities. The third sector plays a key role in supporting Scotland’s communities; it is a valuable part of our society which is why we have invested heavily to help the sector develop.
“Through the £3 million Social Entrepreneurs Fund we have made significant investment to support social entrepreneurs to test and develop their ideas. Our vision is of Scotland as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation and it is great to see such a wide range of social businesses emerging with the support of Firstport”
Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “Start something good demonstrates what we have always known at Firstport – that social entrepreneurs are making both a social and economic contribution to Scottish communities – tackling the most pressing social issues while creating jobs, giving people skills for the future and regenerating local areas. The role of social enterprises is only going to get bigger and we are proud to be supporting these ideas and the individuals behind them.”
Firstport sees the potential for social enterprises to reach deeper into Scottish communities and anticipates the growth of social investment as part of the funding mix. Read the full report here.