£1 million for social enterprises

Rural communities to benefit from digital hub.

Charities and voluntary organisations such as women’s aid groups, food banks and youth clubs are set to benefit from £1 million of new funding.

The funding is designed to support the growth of grassroots social enterprises. It will go to a range of projects including an accelerator programme for ambitious and growing social entrepreneurs, offering them support to raise private investment.

In addition, a £27,000 grant will support the creation of a Rural Social Enterprise Hub in Campbeltown to build on knowledge from European partners and establish a digital network for rural social enterprises to share experiences.

Announcing the funding at the launch of the hub, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“Social enterprises are a vital part of our community and economy. They have a distinctive character and often play a role in preserving vital services such as community shops and transport, and creating employment opportunities.

“The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will bring benefits to the local community and surrounding area in Campbeltown and  share knowledge and best practice in social enterprise, both across Scotland and internationally.”

Ailsa Clark, Development Manager for the hub said:

“This funding will give us the opportunity to learn from the rural experience to inform policy and better understand opportunities to use digital tools to connect rural social enterprises.

“This launch recognises the significance of social enterprise in the rural context - with 34% of all Scotland’s social enterprises in rural areas but only 18% of the population, there is much to be learned.”


  • charitable enterprise Inspiralba, based in Campbeltown, along with partners from Finland, Estonia, Romania and Germany, are working on the Village Social Enterprise Network Erasmus project, which aims to enhance the ideas and methods to promote and support social enterprise in rural areas
  • seventeen grants to social enterprises have been announced, including:
    - to deliver the Brand for Growth programme, an opportunity for leading social enterprises to develop and grow their brand to increase their customers and trade opportunities
    - to deliver LaunchMe: an accelerator programme for ambitious and growing social entrepreneurs, offering them support in raising private investment

List of projects recieving funding

ASK Programme – School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland: £30,000
Rural Social Enterprise Virtual Hub (Graduate Post & Digital Tool) – InspirAlba: £27,536 (£22,536 for graduate posts +£5,000 for digital resources)
ACCELERATE – Community Enterprise & Scottish Community Alliance: £88,000
Brand For Growth – Community Enterprise: £32,000
LaunchMe Round 5 – Firstport: £160,313
Social Innovation Competition – Firstport: £25,000
The Lens: £125,000
Global Learning Lab – Social Enterprise Academy: £100,000
Learning and Rural Support Bursaries – Social Enterprise Academy: £100,000
Community Learning and Development (CLD)– Social Enterprise Academy: £40,000
International Social Enterprise Support and Mentoring – Social Enterprise Academy International CIC: Total £40,000
•         Impact Link China £5,000
•         Impact Link India £12,500
•         Impact Link Pakistan £15,000
•         India/Pakistan Social License Development £7,500
Tribe Women – Tribe Porty: £42,000
Social Enterprise PhD – Glasgow Caledonian University: £19,500
Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) Bursaries – Social Enterprise World Forum CIC (based in Scotland):  £21,594
Good Ideas – The Melting Pot:  £48,000
Coworking Accelerator – The Melting Pot:  £90,000 
Start Up – School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland: £60,000


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