Social Enterprise Research

Social Enterprise Research

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 


A strong and expanding social enterprise sector is a key priority for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). To ensure that social enterprises are provided with the support they need to overcome constraints to growth and to explore the niche markets unique to the region, HIE has commissioned GEN to carry out a sector profiling exercise.  


The study will inform policy guidance and prioritisation of investments in support of innovative social enterprise activities. This will include activity to maximise the income generating potential of community assets and identifying alternative sources of investment. 


A key output of the study will be a comprehensive database containing up to date information on the scale and nature of the social enterprise sector in the HIE area. The study will involve extensive consultation with businesses and stakeholders and there will be opportunities for relevant parties to contribute at different times and in different ways throughout the study. 


The research will involve short online and telephone surveys of social enterprises. The participation of local businesses in each element of the research is crucial to the success of the study. If you are contacted to take part your participation would be greatly appreciated and the information you provide will be instrumental in the development of HIE activities to support the sector going forward.


The field work is scheduled to take place between September and November 2011 and the study is due to be completed in January 2012. 


For more information on this study please contact Kathleen Latimer (Consultant) GEN on 0845 120 6244 or by email at