Social enterprise: action plan

Plan reasserting our long-term vision of social enterprise at the forefront of a new wave of ethical and socially responsible business in Scotland.

Key Actions from Across the Action Plan

This ambitious three year action plan demonstrates the government's commitment to social enterprise as a way of doing business for the common good that is vital to Scotland's desire to become a Wellbeing Economy.

The action plan leverages increased financial support into activities tied to delivering both the ambition set out in the 10 year strategy but also within our national performance framework. We believe that investing in the Third Sector and in Social Enterprises is key if we wish to build forward as a stronger, fairer and more equal society.

Key Actions:

1. Develop a third sector equalities baseline to ensure that all activity supported by the Third Sector Unit is calibrated to tackling the barriers faced by people with protected characteristics.

2. Double our funding to £2m over 3 years to ensure that by 2024 every school child will have the opportunity to engage with a social enterprise project in their school career, introducing the benefits of the social enterprise model to young people across Scotland.

3. Invest an additional £1.5m to build on the successful programme of support offered through Adapt and Thrive which helps community organisations wanting to diversify their income streams.

4. Create the conditions where place-based social enterprise activity and communities can flourish, through enhanced promotion, developing capacity, and funding.

5. Build on wider changes in consumer behaviour accelerated since the pandemic, supporting new initiatives that inspire and encouraging more entrepreneurs across Scotland to consider the social enterprise approach.

6. Work with sector partners and national agencies to enhance the national ecosystem of support for new-start social enterprises and a pipeline of support throughout their journey.

7. Ensure that funding and support are available to social enterprises to help with sustainable recovery, move forward and adapt following the Covid-19 crisis. Including a further £14 million made available in 2021-22 through the Third Sector and Communities Recovery Programme.

8. Pump-prime a range of direct funding mechanisms which, in combination, will provide the finance necessary to support the growth and sustainability of the sector.

9. Ensure that our mainstream business support services continue to recognise and appropriately support social enterprises, while at the same time enhancing specialist provision.

10. Ensure that support is available to social enterprises in rural areas and that this recognises the different challenges they face.

11. Invest £1.5 million to create a clear pipeline for social enterprises from conception to the international market, with a focus on ethical opportunities in emerging markets such as Africa and South East Asia.

12. Continue to support programmes that enable people within the third sector to develop entrepreneurial behaviours, mindsets and skills.

13. Support further action to create stronger, more effective, and more diverse boards within the social enterprise sector.

14. Continue to support social enterprise networks as well as other forms of business mentoring, coaching, and peer-to-peer learning.

15. Attach Fair Work criteria to grant support for social enterprises (as well as the organisations that support them), asking them to commit to adopting fair working practices.

16. Better understand the opportunities and enable the social enterprise sector to lead by example in combating climate change and achieving net zero.

17. Ensure that social enterprises have access to high quality advice and practical resources to help plan, measure and report on impact.

18. Set out our plan to fund an enhanced single intermediary body with responsibility for representing the social enterprise sector across Scotland.

19. Launch a new £30 million Third Sector Growth Fund. This loan fund will be aimed at ambitious, high growth potential organisations that will be key to inclusive growth and the wellbeing economy.

20. Bring forward a programme to help improve collaborative commissioning and the role of social enterprise in the delivery of public services.

21. Invest any potential returns from new and legacy funds into new financial products and services that will test innovations collaborative commissioning and the delivery of better public service outcomes.

22. Review progress based on research and spread best practice in implementing the Sustainable Procurement Duty across Scotland's public sector buying community.

23. Review our support for procurement and how we best support mechanisms that will enable social enterprises to prepare, bid, win and deliver public sector contracts.

24. Take continued action to realise the potential of supported businesses to access public contracts, through the use of reserved contracts and other mechanisms.

25. Support new initiatives that will raise awareness and help broker relationships between social enterprises and prospective corporate partners and purchasers.

26. Test new ways of harnessing the purchasing power of local anchor institutions to create opportunities for local social enterprises and keep money circulating within communities.

27. Based on consumer research we will look to raise awareness and realise the potential of social enterprises in consumer markets.



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