A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. Many community food initiatives, like community shops and cafes, become social enterprises and aim to be at least partly self-sufficient.
Guides and toolkits
- A business planning guide to developing a social enterprise (Forth Sector 2013)
Where to go for more advice
- Just Enterprise: central hub for social enterprise start-up and development support; includes procurement support and learning and development opportunities
- First Port: provides support to start-up social entrepreneurs and social enterprises
- Senscot: an independent network aimed at individuals working in frontline social enterprises in Scotland; they have a Community Food Social Enterprise Network.
- Social Enterprise Scotland: a membership-led organisation representing the needs and interests of social enterprise to politicians, policy makers and opinion formers
- Co-operative Development Scotland: helps the development of new co-operatives and open up existing markets for established co-operatives
- Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone (HISEZ): supports the growth of social enterprises across the Highlands and Islands region by providing expert support and advice and other services
- Chamber of Commerce: there are 21 chamber of commerce across Scotland providing a business-to-business support service; you can arrange for an appointment with a business advisor
- Business Gateway: provides information on business compliance issues such as health and safety or tax; it also runs a number of networking and training opportunities free to businesses.