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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

SP Two columns

Current Status

Social Economy turnover in Scotland was £3.1 billion in 2009, which represents a 3% increase (in real terms) from 2007.

More on social economy turnover

National Indicator


Increase the social economy turnover

Increase the social economy turnover

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Why is this National Indicator important?

Creating the conditions for improved economic growth and social cohesion is critical to Scotland's long-term prospects for sustainable and widespread prosperity. These dual goals are central to the social economy; an economy established for social purposes, which tends to involve community or user participation, and is increasingly focused on sustainable growth. Social economy turnover represents the degree to which the third sector (i.e. charities, voluntary and volunteering organisations, faith organisations, co-operatives and mutual societies and social enterprises) is generating income through trading activity.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Turnover of the social economy increases as the sector itself grows and develops, as investment increases, and as more people and organisations choose to purchase products or services from an enterprising third sector. In order to grow, therefore, social economy organisations need to become more competitive, with increased business connections between the social economy and the public and private sectors. Relevant factors and attributes for individual organisations include: success in marketing and publicity; innovation; efficient management; strategic planning; and an ability to measure performance and meet targets.

What is the Government's role?

To increase the turnover of the social economy, we need individual organisations to start, develop and compete within the wider economy. To support this, the Government has allocated a total of £93.6 million for investment in the third sector over the next three years, helping communities to work better together, helping the sector become more enterprising and contributing to high quality public services. This includes a new Scottish Investment Fund totalling £30 million over three years, which will support investment in assets, business development and the skills of people working in the third sector.

How are we performing?

A proxy measure for the social economy takes turnover information from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) on those organisations that have the legal status of "non-profit making bodies and mutual associations" together with housing associations. The resulting trend is shown below and whilst it has varied over the past four years, the figure of £3,064 million for March 2009 represents a real terms increase of 4.3% compared with £2,937 million for March 2008.

Turnover (£m) of the Social Economy in Scotland, 2004-2009
Sources: Scottish Government, IDBR (ONS), Scottish Register of Social Landlords

View data on social economy


This evaluation is based on: any real terms difference within +/- £10m of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A real terms increase of £10 million or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a real terms decrease of £10 million or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities (lead role)

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

All other bodies providing public services

Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS)

Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS)

Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

Data on National Performance Framework National Indicator on Social EconomyData on National Performance Framework National Indicator on Social Economy [XLS, 19.0 kb: 26 Jan 2011]
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Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected