Scotland - Canada collaboration

World-leading expertise uniting to support social enterprise.

A landmark international agreement to grow and sustain social enterprises in Scotland and Canada has been announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Social Enterprise Academy (SEA), the body providing learning and development for the sector in Scotland, has launched a new partnership with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) supported by Toronto’s Learning Enrichment Foundation and the Scottish Government.

Both countries are globally renowned leaders in social enterprise – businesses focused on creating positive change by reinvesting profits and finding innovative new business models – and the collaboration will involve sharing expertise and skills.

On a visit to West Neighbourhood House, a thriving community organisation in downtown Toronto, the First Minister said:

"Scotland and Canada are already known worldwide as social enterprise nations. Through this exciting partnership, we will be able to share our collective skills and expertise to support people tackling social and environmental challenges in communities at home and around the globe.

“In Scotland, our expertise has been developed through a series of initiatives – such as hosting the Social Enterprise World Forum, our ten-year Social Enterprise Strategy, and funding for a specialist business support service for social enterprises.

"By working together to exchange knowledge and promote business models that contribute to the common good, we can take further steps to improve the lives of those in our countries and further afield.”

Mike Toye, Executive Director for CCEDNet, said:

“The Social Enterprise Academy model for community leadership, learning and innovation is a powerful tool for social and economic change. We are pleased to partner with SEA International to accelerate the growth of inclusive and sustainable organizations and communities across Canada and around the world.”

Claire Wilson, Head of the SEA Global Learning Lab, said:

“Learning and development is a vital part of helping people to transform themselves, their organisations and their communities. CCEDNet is an exciting new addition to our international network of partners. We look forward to seeing how we can work together to support communities across Canada.”


 The Social Enterprise Academy is based in Edinburgh with learning facilitators across Scotland providing transformational leadership and entrepreneurship development programmes for social enterprise and non-profit leaders and young people.

Serving people leading sustainable change in communities across Scotland since 2004, the Social Enterprise Academy is now operated by local partners in 12 countries worldwide including Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Malawi.

One of the most recent additions to the Social Enterprise Academy network, SEA China, was launched during the First Minister’s visit to Beijing in 2018. 


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