Opening opportunities for the Social Enterprise and Third Sectors

by Sandy Watson, Project Manager for Social Enterprise at Scottish Enterprise.

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy.  Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth.

As part of the Scottish Government’s third sector and social enterprise strategy and action plans, we recognise the importance of diversity in the economy.  We support the contribution made by innovative and alternative business models such as third sector and social enterprises and the positive impact they have on our communities.

Working alongside our partners - Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway and Just Enterprise - we deliver a comprehensive range of business support available from start-up through to help for enterprises with high-growth potential. 

Whatever stage your organisation is at, working together we aim to provide the appropriate support to help you succeed and to build the capacity and sustainability of the sector.

We can help with various aspects of your business development and growth, such as leadership development, market-led innovation, access to investment, business efficiency and competitiveness, application of digital technologies and international trade.

These are routes to growth for third sector and social enterprises as much as they are for mainstream private sector businesses.  As well as their growing importance to the design and delivery of public services, third sector and social enterprises also operate across a wide range of industry sectors, with opportunities to collaborate - and compete with - private sector businesses.

Interface has historically brought together the resources of universities and businesses for mutual benefit.  This approach is now being successfully applied by Interface to create similar links between universities and social enterprise. This creates exciting opportunities for social enterprises and the third sector to pool resources and collaborate, with the potential to result in new products and services which can positively impact our economy and communities.

With these opportunities come challenges, and that’s where we and our partners can help…get in touch with us by emailing or calling 0845 607 8787 (calls charged at local rates)