Business Support for Social Enterprises

Information on the Social Enterprise Strategy and Action Plan, with links to key delivery partners and Scottish Government funded programmes for Social Enterprises.

The Scottish Government Social Enterprise Strategy is a ten-year, national social enterprise strategy which sets out shared ambitions for social enterprise in Scotland, jointly developed with the sector.

The Scottish Government Social Enterprise Action Plan reasserts the long-term vision of social enterprise at the forefront of a new wave of ethical and socially responsible business in Scotland.

Please see below for information on key delivery partners and Scottish Government funded programmes to support Social Enterprises:

Scottish Government funds a comprehensive and free business support service tailored to the needs of the third sector, including social enterprises, and currently delivered through a consortium of third sector organisations called Just Enterprise. The range of services available are demand-led and includes start up and scaling up business support, social impact measurement and leadership via one-to-one and one-to-many hybrid delivery.

Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent membership organisation that promotes and campaigns on behalf of all social enterprises in Scotland including around developing new markets for social enterprise at home and overseas. Social Enterprise Scotland is a good first port of call for advice and they will be able to signpost to the most appropriate support for specific needs.

Social Investment Scotland offers loan funding and business support for social enterprises, charities and community groups looking to make a positive impact on people’s lives, society or the environment.

Firstport provides business support and funding to help you start a social enterprise in Scotland, which provides support to new and emerging social entrepreneurs to set up and run a business with a social or environmental purpose.

ISEO - International Social Enterprise Observatory is a partnership including Community Enterprise in Scotland, Scottish Development International and Challenges Group amongst others which invites social enterprise or third sector organisations located in Scotland who are considering trading internationally, developing international partnerships or attracting international customers, to get in touch via their website to find out how ISEO can help.

The Scottish Government supports a network of 32 Third Sector Interfaces across Scotland providing a single point of access for support and advice for the third sector within the local area. Third sector organisations may contact their local Third Sector Interface for advice and information on funding sources.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisation’s (SCVO) website Funding Scotland offers a one stop shop for information about possible sources of funding for third sector organisations.