Mergers, prioritising, cross-sector working, core funding... These areas and more are all explored in a free new website for CEOs and trustees, published by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR). The resource is designed to make useful and usable insights quick to find and digest. By sharing findings developed over 17 years of close collaboration with the voluntary, public and funding sectors, IVAR is aiming to help leaders make informed, confident decisions about the future.

If you work for, run, or are involved with a social enterprise Social Enterprise UK are keen to hear your views on the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
Their survey prior to the EU exit referendum received an excellent number of responses and they would like to know how opinions have changed, if at all, since the referendum result was announced.
In order to continue to support social enterprises, and the sector more widely, it would be greatly appreciated if you completed the survey below; the survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. Your feedback would be invaluable in helping to collate evidence to inform their political influencing, campaigning and communications work.

Click here to take part in the survey

Sep 26&27 - Exploring Social Enterprise for the Private Sector - Grantown
Oct 2&3 - Wide Horizons, Working in Social Enterprise – Forres
Oct 31 – Pre-Start Leadership – Aberdeen
Nov 3&4 – Leadership Award for Teachers (Gaelic Medium) - Contin
Nov 6 – Enterprising Village Halls – Kinlochewe
Nov 7&8 – Leadership for Social Enterprise – Kingussie
Nov 7&8 -  Coaching Skills – Oban
Nov 28&29 – Facilitation Skills (Gaelic Medium) – Portree

More at .


Scottish social enterprises flourished last year - delivering a boost worth billions to the economy.
Since a social enterprise strategy was launched by the Scottish Government in December 2016, more than £7 million has been invested in supporting initiatives.
The strategy is Scotland’s first long-term plan for the sector and is set to run over 10 years.
As part of the strategy, a census of the sector will be carried out every two years. A study carried out in 2017 found that 5,600 social enterprises are operating across Scotland, an increase of 8% since 2015, with around 300 new social enterprises start-ups each and every year.
The sector is mostly led by women (64%), contributes £2 billion to the economy and employs over 80,000 people. Social enterprises play a unique role in Scotland’s rural areas - which accounts for 34% of Scotland’s social enterprises, despite being home to only 18% of the nation’s population.

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What is it?

Social Enterprise is an idea, a way of doing business.

A social enterprise is a business that trades to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. This might sound like charity work, but social enterprises are businesses. They make and do things that earn money and make profits like any business. It is how they work and what they do with their profit that is different: working to make a bigger difference, reinvesting the profits they make to do more good.

They do this in lots of different ways: creating jobs for people who would otherwise be left out; reinvesting profits in community projects; protecting the environment, providing vital services for people who might not get them otherwise. It’s this combination of doing business and doing good that makes social enterprise one of the most exciting and fast-growing movements in this country and across the world.

Social Enterprises are businesses and their goal is to make a profit which is what sets them apart from community groups and charities who fundraise to support their activities.

We would call that ‘enterprising activity’ and we’re here to support both outright social enterprises and also community groups who are looking to supplement their income by selling goods or services.

Who Does It?

All kinds of people! In Orkney some social enterprises that you may have heard of are Orkney Soap Company, For Art’s Sake, Craft Hub Orkney and Orkney Cheese.

Some other organisations that might be considered social enterprise are community halls and charity shops.

Most community groups in Orkney will have undertaken some enterprising activity at some point whether it’s a bake sale, selling tea towels or holding a jumble sale. The profits a group makes from these kinds of activities is what is called ‘unrestricted’ meaning there are no legal obligations on how it’s spent.

Wait! We already do that.

If you’re involved in a community group, chances are you are ‘enterprising’. We can help you develop your activity, review your legal structure, create a business model or plan if it’s appropriate and help you develop this potential source of income for your group.

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