Highland and Island Enterprise has traditionally taken an enlightened view to social enterprise support. The HIE Network takes the view that a business is a business is a business. Their social remit means that they are very keen to encourage individuals and community groups who are motivated by social purposes to engage in enterprise and business development in pursuit of their goals.
HIE believes that this is the best way to achieve development in remote and rural areas, where private enterprise is not willing to provide and the public sector is not able to provide, but the social enterprises must be businesslike. If the enterprise is not sustainable, then they will not be able to deliver the social benefits that they seek. HIE recognises that often social enterprises do not always have the necessary skills at the outset to carry through their enterprises and, through their First Stop service, they seek to provide the support they need.