Local and National Examples
Scotland has a long history of pioneering new forms of business, including mutuals, cooperatives and social enterprises. “These reflect a belief among the people of Scotland in a fairer, more equal society, organised for the benefit of all, where business activity is used as a means to this end and not an end in itself”.
Social enterprise should be at the vanguard of a new wave of responsible business in Scotland and become central to the “Scottish approach” to doing business, according to Building a New Economy: Scotland’s Vision for Social Enterprise 2025, published in January 2015 by organisations including Senscot, Social Enterprise Scotland, InspirAlba and Hisez. The Scottish Government has already made a commitment to ensure that social enterprises develop, collaborate and grow. This has been given by providing direct investment; programmes that provide tailored business support and work to open public sector market to social enterprise and the wider third sector. But the paper argues that building capability will require not only the development of specialist and generic business support, but a more mature social finance market and stronger leadership in social enterprises. It says building markets requires a more recognisable consumer brand for social enterprise and greater obligation on the public sector to involve social enterprises in the co-design and testing of services. Building on potential will involve engagement with every school in Scotland, tax incentives and greater investment in skills.
Across the UK social enterprises are providing positive impact on the communities they serve, be that of interest or place. They are vital to the people who are using the service; there is no doubt that without them there would be a greater ‘draw’ on the public purse and on local communities.
This section of the website includes examples on a range of social enterprises, both local and national, to help demonstrate the case for social enterprise to be acknowledged as an accepted vehicle for delivering good quality services to the health and social care sector in Scotland.
With the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act now receiving royal assent, communities’ voices will soon have a greater say in shaping the services that affect them. For example, if communities see services delivered poorly for a particular client group, and feel that they could do things better, a “community participation body” can make a “participation request”. This gives communities an additional power to initiate dialogue with partners on their own terms, which set the priorities for their own communities, with the right to have their views properly considered.