Social enterprises worth billions to Scottish economy

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More than 80,000 people are now employed by social enterprises across the country

4th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish social enterprises flourished last year - delivering a boost worth billions to the economy.

Since a social enterprise strategy was launched by the Scottish Government in December 2016, more than £7 million has been invested in supporting initiatives.

The strategy is Scotland’s first long-term plan for the sector and is set to run over 10 years.

As part of the strategy, a census of the sector will be carried out every two years. A study carried out in 2017 found that 5,600 social enterprises are operating across Scotland, an increase of 8% since 2015, with around 300 new social enterprises start-ups each and every year.

The sector is mostly led by women (64%), contributes £2 billion to the economy and employs over 80,000 people. Social enterprises play a unique role in Scotland’s rural areas - which accounts for 34% of Scotland’s social enterprises, despite being home to only 18% of the nation’s population.

Cabinet secretary for communities Angela Constance said: “Scotland’s social enterprise sector is seen as a world leader thanks to more than a decade of sustained investment and support. Social enterprises trade for the common good; strengthen our communities, improve people’s life chances and protect the environment.

“Our 10-year strategy demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this innovative sector. I’m delighted to see it helping so many social entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas in reality. This is just the start and I’m looking forward to see how many more wonderful projects will flourish over the next nine years.

“Social enterprises contribute £2 billion to our economy each year and employs 80,000 people; so they are contributing to the wider economy as well as delivering projects and services in local communities. They are contributing to a fairer, more equal and inclusive Scotland.”

Scotland will host the international Social Enterprise World Forum in September - welcoming thousands of delegates and marking a decade since the inaugural event in Edinburgh.