As public awareness of social enterprise increases, so do the questions about what it actually contributes to Scotland’s economy and society. What’s been missing, up until now, are hard statistics about social enterprise and the kind of robust economic data that demonstrates the practical impact of Scotland’s social enterprise businesses. We’ve now solved this issue with the launch of the results of Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2015.
For those who don’t yet know, social enterprises are businesses that are set up to deliver a specific social and/or environmental mission (not simply a private business behaving ethically). This could mean employing homeless people, providing social housing, recycling waste or something else that profits society. They aim to make money like any other business, but invest 100% of it in their social purpose. Well-known examples include The Big Issue, The Wise Group, Social Bite, Divine Chocolate, the Homeless World Cup, Kibble Education and Care, Glasgow Housing Association, the Eden Project and many others.
The powerful impact of our social enterprise businesses has now been revealed for the very first time, with the welcome publication of these Census results.
The headline results show us that there are over 5,000 social enterprises in Scotland, with over 200 new social enterprises being formed each year. The Highlands and Islands has 22% of all social enterprises, with Edinburgh and Glasgow accounting for 26%, Scotland-wide employing over 112,000 people.
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