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Social Enterprises in Scotland

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
  • Start date
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I just wondered if anyone has had any experience of setting up a social enterprise in Scotland? Really looking for any contacts or resources I could have a look at.

Thanks :)


New Member
Hi ,

The main resource I would use is: Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition | Home

There is so much information of use within the site and should set you off in the right direction.

I'll see what else I can dig out regarding accounting requirements.

Kind Regards

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New Member
There are some development issues and challenges around social enterprise in Scotland. The principal one is that ‘enterprise’ is as equally important as ‘social’ in the social enterprise approach. That might sound like ‘the bleeding obvious’, but there can be much confusion and woolly thinking around what people are setting up a social enterprise for. An initial practical question is how ready are you to work to or for an unremunerated board that is probably motivated more by a social mission than a profitable business one?

(I should know, I have provided consultancy advice to would-be social enterprises – pm me if you do think of taking things further). The question of what impact social enterprise have was examined in this Guardian feature:

Another challenge is antipathy from much of institutional Scotland. Many vested interests see social enterprise as a threat to the established and traditional (tax payer funded) public sector.

An additional fear I have is that some third sector organisations (charities, community organisations etc.) have been pushed down the social enterprise routes by public funders who are now running out of money – a recipe for disaster in business!

My general view is that whilst there are notable exceptions in Scotland, much more substantial progress has been made in England in this sector. This and this should be of interest.
Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

New Member
I'd guess that not many of us in the forum will have experience of settng up or managing a social enterprise, but I bet most of us are customers of these types of business.

There are two social enterprises in Edinburgh that I regularly patronise: the Bike Station and the Engine Shed. No doubt there are many more throughout the country.

, who don't you try to find a social enterprise in your part of the world, and just go in and ask if you can chat to someone who might be able to give you the advice you need.

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