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Social Enterprise

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Social Enterprise

Social enterprises are businesses with a social responsibility who reinvest profits into their community, locally or across the world.  The Scottish Government supports social enterprise by investing in its eco-system of support, in order to make Scotland a fairer and more equal place.


In December 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities launched the co-produced Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy, developed in partnership with the social enterprise community.  Also in 2016, the Scottish Government published Internationalising Social Enterprise, putting Scotland's social enterprises and our collective knowledge on the world stage.

In April 2017, the Scottish Government announced Building a Sustainable Social Enterprise Sector in Scotland: Action Plan 2017-20. This is the first of three actions plans which will deliver on the ambitions outlined in the Social Enterprise Strategy.

In September 2017, Scotland's second Social Enterprise Census was produced, providing a clear picture of the sector's size and shape. A technical summary outlining the methodology behind the census will be published here shortly.

The Scottish Government is committed to open data. For any data requests related to the census, please contact Will Tyler-Greig.   

The Scottish Government provides funding to organisations like Social Enterprise Scotland, Firstport, Senscot and Social Firms Scotland whose aim is to assist in the planning, growth and sustainability of social enterprises.

If you wish to find out more about social enterprise, or Scotland's ten-year approach, please contact