8 Scottish social enterprises head to Asda Academy


Find out which emerging Scottish social entrepreneurs are heading down to Leeds next week to find out how to sell their products to Asda

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2nd June 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Eight social enterprises from Scotland have been selected for Asda’s second ever Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy, with the aim of securing a listing to increase their social impacts.

The Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy, developed in partnership with Social Investment Scotland (SIS), is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to increase the availability of social enterprise products for ethically-minded consumers on supermarket shelves.

The academy, which runs from 6th to 9th June at Asda HQ in Leeds, is funded through the proceeds from Asda’s carrier bag charge in Scotland totalling around £1 million.

Since the inaugural academy took place last year, both Brewgooder and Heroes Drinks have received national listings with Asda, significantly increasing the size and scale of their operations, allowing them to create deeper, more sustainable social impacts.

Twelve months on and the second academy looks set to be equally impactful with no less than 25 participants making their way to Asda House in Leeds. Over the next three days eight Scottish social enterprises along with 17 social enterprises from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive a unique training programme designed to strengthen their understanding of supermarket retail and refine their commercial and marketing skills.

This year’s eight high flyers from Scotland are:

  • The Justice Brand – selling a range of pouches, bags and accessories with the aim of supporting women who have been affected by prostitution, human trafficking and sexual abuse
  • Punjabi Junction – offering a blend of traditional Punjabi, home cooked cuisines mixed with inspiring social enterprise giving opportunities, social inclusion and support to women from the capital’s minority Ethnic background
  • Bala Sport – the UK’s No1 source for Fairtrade certified footballs, with a key aim of increasing the amount of Fairtrade Premium benefiting sports ball workers in Pakistan.
  • Ginerosity – a social enterprise gin whose profits are poured back into projects to help disadvantaged young adults here and abroad
  • MBikudi – hair and skin beauty products with the mission of empowering women and tackle isolation within communities.
  • Silver Stag – unique Scottish gifts, using profits to help serve the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society.
  • Social Stuff Ltd (Squad Scarves) – official football and rugby supporter snoods, with all profits directed to good causes
  • Feel the Warmth – high performance heated wearables, addressing the effects the cold weather has on the Health and Wellbeing of some sectors of our communities in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The cohort of budding social entrepreneurs will benefit from both grant funding to cover their participation and specially developed training modules delivered at Asda House in Leeds. It will include everything from understanding consumer purchasing to branding and packaging design. Participants will also receive access to mentoring provided by Asda’s senior team and to finance through social investment loans from SIS with the objective of helping these enterprises find their way to supermarket shelves.

Asda’s partnership with Social Investment Scotland represents a significant commitment by the retailer to develop the UK’s social enterprise sector and create a long term sustainable impact within communities across the country.

The programme – consisting of both the Academy and SIS Community Capital – supports a growing number of social enterprises to sell products directly to members of the general public. While there are no guarantees that Academy participants will receive a listing with Asda, the skills and support delivered through the Academy will significantly improve their prospects and, more importantly, equip them with the tools to secure deals with other retailers.