The voice for Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. Connecting, supporting, developing and sustaining vibrant businesses to create social change.


Social Enterprise in Scotland

The last four years has seen considerable investment in the social enterprise community in Scotland by Scottish Government. Between 2008-11, over £90m was in invested in their Enterprising Third Sector Action Plan. Between 2012 and 2015, a further £74m will be invested. In addition, two pieces on legislation will be going through Parliament – the Community Empowerment and the Procurement Reform Bills. Both Bills will have a significant impact on the nature of public service delivery in Scotland in the years to come and will, hopefully, present a range of opportunities for social enterprises (SEs).

In spite of this ongoing support, these are still difficult times for SE in Scotland. Important challenges for our ‘support infrastructure’ will include exploring how smaller SEs can collaborate in an effort access some of these opportunities and, at the same time, ensure that there are realistic expectations both on the part of Government and the SE community.

It will also be critically important that Scotland continues to resist the shift in England where the definition of social enterprise is increasingly being diluted – most recently, with the removal the asset lock requirement. In Scotland, through the Scottish Voluntary Code of Practice for SE – we will continue to enshrine the ‘asset lock’ as the defining characteristic of SE. See,