Social Enterprise

What is a Social Enterprise?

– A social enterprise is an organization/business that contributes to bettering a human and environmental community. These organizations can sell for a profit, but a key motivation is to better others by doing so. Examples include ‘The Big Issue’.

Scottish government policies/ideas on Social Enterprise –

– Through information at this link (, it’s noted that the Scottish Government takes a positive attitude to social enterprise and provide funding for people who decide to start up down this route through Scottish Investment Fund, Enterprise Growth Fund and Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Other Political parties policies –

-Direct quotes from the Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto –

“Support social investment, ensuring charities and social enterprises can access the support and finance they need to develop and deliver innovative, sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities.”

“Taking forward the recently commissioned study by the British Business Bank into the sustainability of Community Development Finance Institutions.”

“Encouraging the growth of crowdfunding and alternative finance models.”

“Promoting a new community banking sector to support small and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises.”

Scottish Conservatives and Unionist Party

“We will give more people the power and support to run a school, start their own social enterprise, and take over their own local parks, landmarks and pubs.”

“We will…allow individuals, groups of parents and charities to set up new schools with government funding.”

“We have supported the growth of public service mutuals – organisations that are owned by their staff and deliver public services. We want more of them, so we will guarantee a ‘right to mutualise’ within the public sector.”

“We will make volunteering for three days a year a workplace entitlement for people working in large companies and the public sector.”

“We will introduce a new residency requirement for social housing, so that EU migrants cannot even be considered for a council house unless they have been living in an area for at least four years.”

How would you set one up?

In order to set up a Social Enterprise, you need to think of what business structure you’ll have. This can be either a Limited company, a charity, a co-operative, etc etc. You’ll operate as any other business selling and working at the same rates as any other company, except profits come back to those working in the business and the causes supported by the business.

As an example, a company that uses old clothes to create something new, donating the profits to individuals and charities working in India and Bangladesh who are quite often those who have made them and still living in poverty.


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