International expansion for CEIS Group

Posted in: News.

Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS) is creating a new senior position to build upon the tremendous success of the Social Enterprise World Forum and increasing internationalisation opportunities. CEIS is now seeking a new CEO following the Board’s decision to appoint the current Group CEO, Gerry Higgins, to the position of Director of International Enterprise at CEIS. Gerry will combine this post with a new role of Managing Director of Social Enterprise World Forum.

Gerry has been the leader of the CEIS Group which includes DSL Business Finance, CEIS Ayrshire and Social Value Lab, since 2006 and is looking forward to enabling the organisation to further develop its international business. Gerry will continue to act as CEO until a new CEO joins the business early in 2019 and recruitment to this position will commence on 13th December.

Maureen Porch, Group Chair at CEIS said, “CEIS looks forward to appointing our next CEO to build upon our success of the last decade, take the Group further forward and influence the development of the social enterprise sector in Scotland and beyond. We anticipate significant interest in this opportunity to lead an ambitious and exciting organisation delivering social impact globally; guiding our skilled and motivated workforce to continued success and innovation.

The successful candidate will benefit from the continued presence of our current CEO in the organisation, to deliver an effective transition for our internal and external stakeholders. The Board is delighted that Gerry Higgins will move into the newly created role of Director of International Enterprise, ensuring CEIS continues to play a leading role in global social enterprise development. This will build upon the impact of CEIS leadership over 10 years of Social Enterprise World Forums and Gerry will now lead SEWF CIC to champion the potential of social enterprise to bring about inclusive and sustainable economic development”.

Gerry Higgins reflected that “international activities have grown substantially at CEIS over the last decade from our creation of the Social Enterprise World Forum in 2008 to leading Scotland’s International Social Enterprise Observatory in recent years. It’s more important than ever for social enterprises in Scotland and overseas to pursue trade and collaboration opportunities across borders. I look forward to devoting my time to international business at CEIS and SEWF while supporting the new leadership at CEIS to lead our skilled and highly motivated teams with their work in communities and businesses throughout Scotland.”

For further information on the CEO role
For further information about CEIS Group
For further information about Social Enterprise World Forum


Gerry Higgins Bio

CEIS Group CEO, Gerry Higgins

Gerry is CEO at CEIS Group and a Director at Social Value Lab, CEIS Ayrshire, DSL Business Finance Ltd, Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise World Forum CIC. Gerry has a BA in Education and a MSc in Business Studies and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Social Enterprise UK in 2017.

Gerry has many years’ experience in developing and leading social enterprises and works with government agencies and third sector partners in the UK and internationally to create supportive social enterprise ecosystems. His current work includes oversight of major programmes to support social enterprise development and to contribute to social enterprise policy at home and abroad.

At CEIS, Gerry leads a team of over 60 people to deliver business support, employability services, project consultancy, social research, business finance and event management. Gerry joined CEIS in 2006 having previously established Social Firms UK and he was one of the founding directors of Social Enterprise UK. Gerry is committed to social justice and has spent over 30 years working in the social enterprise sector to assist individuals, communities and enterprises to fulfil their potential.



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