More funding for free advice service.
Social enterprises are to benefit from £5 million of new funding to enable them to access free specialist business advice.
The service gives one-to-one advice and workshops on specialist topics such as start-ups, business planning, marketing and pre-investment support. It is unique in the UK and a central feature of Scotland’s social enterprise support network.
The flagship programme is recognised worldwide as best practice in supporting social enterprises to start and grow.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“The social enterprise sector contributes over £2 billion to the economy every year and employs over 80,000 people so it is vital social enterprises are able to access the support and advice they need to succeed.
“Social enterprises are driven by a passion to improve their local communities and provide a service for the greater good. They benefit and support people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, and create jobs in the process.
“It is essential we continue to support their vision to create a better and fairer Scotland.”
Just Enterprise, a consortium of social enterprises led by Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), has secured the contract to deliver the service. The contract is valued at £4.75m over a four-year period.
Gerry Higgins, CEO of Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), said:
“Following a positive independent evaluation of Just Enterprise last summer, we were delighted that our recent bid to continue to deliver these key services was successful.
“A social enterprise ourselves, we know the challenges for our clients in balancing income generation with social impact. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners across Scotland to deliver an innovative and effective programme of business support to enterprising third sector organisations.”
The Scottish Government has invested £8 million in this service since 2011 and Just Enterprise has provided 6,697 instances of support to some 4,927 organisations and 9,922 instances of support to individuals. Beneficiaries come from a range of sectors and span all 32 Scottish local authority areas.