Scottish Government announces major boost to third sector and social enterprises

Scottish Government announces major boost to third sector and social enterprises
Scottish Government

Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning at the Scottish Government today (5th September 2012) announced that five world class social enterprise’s are to set-up international headquarters in Scotland after being awarded grants under the International Social Enterprise Programme, at Community Enterprise in Scotland’s (CEiS) annual conference in Glasgow.

The Social Enterprise World Forum CIC, which held it inaugural event in Scotland in 2008 with backing from CEiS, is one of the grant recipients. Since then the Forum has grown into a premiere global event focused exclusively on social enterprises. It has held events in Melbourne, San Francisco, Johannesburg and this October, Rio de Janeiro.which are attended by 30 countries each year.

Other social enterrpise receiving grants to set-up headquarters in Scotland are The Homeless World Cup, International Network of Street Papers, Challenges Worldwide and Assist Social Capital. Between them they already operate in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Australia,

The Third Sector – comprising of not-for-profit social enterprises, voluntary organisations and community organisations- makes a direct impact on the growth of Scotland’s economy by creating jobs, helping people back to work and supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society.

Speaking at the opening of CEiS’s annual conference, Mr Mackay said: "This support which includes headquarters grant, will further enable Scottish-based international social enterprises to play a key role in influencing the development of the social enterprise model around the world.Given Scotland’s position as the leading social enterprise country in the world it is fitting that we have set-up a programme to support social enterprises with a global reach to be headquartered in Scotland."

Welcoming the announcement Gerry Higgins, Chief Executive of CEiS, the leading social enterprise support agency which assists communities and disadvantaged areas to realise their potential, said: "This announcement will ensure that Scotland is recognised internationally as the best country in the world to run a social enterprise. Scotland has played a leading role in developing the social enterprise model around the world. Particular highlights include hosting the first ever Social Enterprise World Forum which was set-up by CEiS. Thanks to this grant funding the Forum will now be headquartered in Scotland. The Forum, which meets in a different country each year,gives third sector leaders from around the world the opportunity to share their ideas and best practice, learn from each others experiences and ultimately build more successful and sustainable social enterprise’s in their home country.

"It is significant that the minister chose CEiS’s annual conference to make this important announcement. Today we are joined by 200 colleagues from across the third sector in Scotland. Topics for discussion include how social enterprises can help to tackle youth unemployment at a local community level and also opportunities for the third sector to provide a lasting legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. During the conference we will also asking our younger delegates to come up with innovative ideas for a new social enterprise and will be awarding a prize for the best one."