SVE promotes social enterprise as a model of doing business and offers a range of services to support individuals and organisations at all stages of development. This includes support for any third sector organisations that would like to explore becoming more socially enterprising to support their long term sustainability.
What is social enterprise?
Social enterprise is a way of operating a business where trading activities are carried out primarily to fulfil social or environmental aims and objectives, with any profit or surplus generated, reinvested back into the business; rather than to provide dividends to directors or shareholders. Social enterprise is a business model and may adopt one of a range of different legal structures to operate within, depending on the type and nature of the products or services offered.
Social Enterprise Census in Scotland 2015
Social enterprise is becoming increasing popular with approximately 5000 enterprises currently in operation across all business sectors in Scotland. The first ever Social Enterprise Census in Scotland carried out in 2015 highlighted that the combined economic contribution of social enterprises in Scotland is some £1.68bn annually. The full census report can be downloaded here Building on the findings set out in the 2015 Social Enterprise Census baseline report, the 2017 Social Enterprise Census represents the most comprehensive analysis yet of social enterprise activity anywhere in the world. This involved the screening of some 20,000 organisations against agreed definitional criteria; the analysis of financial data from the public accounts of 4,439 social enterprises, and the analysis of 1351 responses from a representative survey of Scotland’s social enterprises. The full Census report can be accessed here.
Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016 -2026
The Scottish Government has jointly developed a ten-year, national social enterprise strategy with the social enterprise sector, which sets out shared ambitions for social enterprise in Scotland, and provides a framework for action over the next decade. The full strategy document can be accessed here.