Map of Support

Advice, support and development resources for social enterprises

Finding the right support as a social entrepreneur can be daunting. Whether you need advice on what legal structure would suit your social enterprise, you need to identify suitable training opportunities or you’re looking to put a bid in for your first public sector contract, it can be hard to know where to start.

Thankfully, our friends at Community Enterprise have painstakingly put together a ‘Map of Support’, a comprehensive and structured catalogue of support organisations across Scotland and the UK, many of whom specifically deal with issues affecting social enterprises.

Browse through the organisations below to find the support you need.

For funding-related issues, check out Funding Scotland’s website to search for anything from small grants to funding for big capital projects, and be sure to keep an eye on our Noticeboard, which lists a range of funding rounds suitable for social enterprises to apply for.

Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO)
Support to the Ethnic minority third sector including specific social enterprise support.
Climate Action Network
A grassroots network of community groups that are taking action on climate change.
Community Resources Network Scotland
Specific Support for Recycling.
Community Energy Scotland
Specific Support for Community Energy.
Community Land Scotland
Networking, lobbying and support to community groups who own and manage land.
Community Transport Association
Specific Support for Community Transport.
Community Woodlands Scotland
Specific Support for Community Woodlands.
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
Umbrella body for local authorities and the main conduit for national negotiations (though some have split off into the Scottish Local Government Partnership).
Cultural Enterprise Office
Enterprise support to arts and creative organisations.
Development Trust Association Scotland
DTA Scotland s vision is to have a successful development trust in every community that wants one.To achieve this DTA Scotland will address itself to four key areas of activity:Encouraging the growth of new development trusts.Support and strengthening established development trusts.Promoting and representing the interests of development trusts.
Federation of City Farms and Gardens
Specific Support for Community Growing.
Federation of Small Business (FSB)
The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. This can include social enterprises.
Support to Sustainable Food Projects.
Plunkett Foundation Scotland
Specific Support for Community Retail.
Scottish Communities for Health and Well-being
Support for Community-led Health.
Scottish Community Alliance
Their overarching aim is to help the community sector in Scotland to develop its own distinct identity and voice so that it can campaign effectively on a wide range of issues. They see their work as having two main functions to promote the work of local people in their communities and to influence national policy development.
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
SCVO services help charities, social enterprises and voluntary sector organisations across Scotland and campaigns for better conditions.
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Networking, lobbying and support for housing associations, largely the larger providers.
Scottish League of Credit Unions
Networking, campaigning and support to credit unions.
Association of British Credit Unions Limited
Networking, campaigning and support to credit unions.
Senscot builds and services a network to help social entrepreneurs become more effective. They raise awareness, bring social enterprises together and lead on strategy.
Social Enterprise Scotland
The national lobbying voice organisation for social enterprise in Scotland.
Social Firms Scotland
National support body for the development and promotion of Social Firms in Scotland. Aim to help social enterprises learn more about Social Firms and how to develop and grow dynamic businesses that create jobs for severely disadvantaged people.
Voluntary Action Scotland
Umbrella body for Third Sector Interfaces.
Voluntary Arts Scotland
Specific Support for Community Arts.
Volunteer Scotland
The national centre for volunteering exists to create the conditions for well-resourced volunteering.
Support for chief officers of voluntary organisations.
PWC Social Entrepreneurs Club
Peer support for social entrepreneurs.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
SDS works with partners across Scotland to deliver a variety of work-based training and learning with programmes that can be accessed by social enterprises.
Social Enterprise Academy
Provides programmes in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Social Impact Measurement for people and organisations at any stage in their development.
Social Learning Company
Consultancy support around learning.
Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health
Focusing on health and wellbeing, the Centre's aim is to transform the lives of vulnerable communities through pioneering research in micro-finance, social business and health economics.
John Pearce Social Enterprise Collection
Curated by Glasgow Caledonian University, this is a new collection of social enterprise documents and manuscripts. It is open to the public for research use.
CIC Regulator
Regulates community interest companies.
Companies House
Companies House incorporates and dissolves limited companies, registers the information companies are legally required to supply and makes that information available to the public.
Cooperative Development Scotland
They offer advice to help choose the best co-operative business model for organisations. They will also guide groups through the process, including access to funding and legal models.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
The UK s tax authority. Offering information and advice on all matter relating to tax.
Intellectual Property Office
The official government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)
The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is a Non-Ministerial Department and part of the Scottish Administration following commencement of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.They are the independent regulator and registrar for over 23,500 Scottish charities.
Senscot Legal
Social enterprise legal firm.
Public Contracts Scotland
Find details of contracts with Scottish Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government, Agencies and NDPBs, Higher and Further Education and Emergency Services by browsing the available contracts. You can also register to receive free e-mail alerts.
Ready for Business
Programme of support and information to increase third sector up-take of tender opportunities.
Supplier Development Programme
The SDP aims to assist enterprising organisations free support to improve their performance in winning contracts with public sector organisations. They offer information, support and training events.
Partnership for Procurement (P4P)
P4P is a new initiative which supports social enterprises and third sector organisations to build partnerships and consortia to better access public procurement and other contracting opportunities.
Business Gateway
Business Gateway offers a wide range of professional resources, business advice and free training workshops to support all types of social enterprises and businesses.
Business Mentoring Scotland
Business Mentoring Scotland is a Scottish Chambers of Commerce programme in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, delivered locally by the regional Chambers of Commerce.
CEIS leads on and delivers various support programmes for social enterprises including Just Enterprise and Ready for Business. They have been instrumental in the internationalisation of social enterprise and in the development of policy, often articulated at a national conference. They undertake social research as part of Social Value Lab.