New Chief Executive announced for Community Enterprise in Scotland

Posted in: News.

Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), the leading provider of business support to social enterprises in Scotland has announced its new Chief Executive. Ian Mitchell, currently Deputy Director External Affairs for the Scottish Government is set to take the company forward.

Ian is taking over from existing CEO Gerry Higgins who has stepped down to drive the international dimension of CEIS and continue his pioneering work with the Social Enterprise World Forum.

Ian brings considerable senior level experience to CEIS having worked within Scottish Government (and Local Government) in a variety of leadership roles (most recently supporting Ministers in protecting Scotland’s interests in the Brexit process).

Most of Ian’s career has been spent enabling the delivery of local economic development and enterprise.  Within Government Ian led the development of Scotland’s first Social Enterprise strategy (in 2006) against a backdrop of scepticism at the time.  This heralded the beginnings of a supportive infrastructure of social enterprise funding and investment support and established the foundations for today’s social enterprise ecosystem which many regard as being the best in the world.

Ian commented, “it is a privilege to lead an organisation I feel very passionately about and in a social enterprise sector which is now very well placed to grow and play a leading role in delivering services within communities across Scotland. The CEIS I join today has played a hugely significant part in the impressive foothold that social enterprise has in Scotland and now internationally and I relish the challenge to strengthen the organisation further”.

Maureen Porch, the CEIS Chair said that, “we are delighted to welcome Ian Mitchell to the Chief Executive role at CEIS. Ian has a great understanding of the potential of social enterprise to reduce inequality and create inclusive economic growth in Scotland. Ian’s experience and expertise will support our work with businesses, communities and individuals to make Scotland a better place to live and work”.

CEIS Impact Facts 2018

International Expansion for CEIS Group as CEO steps down

About Ian Mitchell

Ian has 25 years plus senior experience in the public sector at local, regional and national level and within the social enterprise sector. Ian is currently heading up the Scottish Government response to and approach to Brexit, including the promotion of a positive approach to migration for Scotland. He had previously worked as a senior manager in Scottish Government‘s Health and Care Directorate responsible for the integration of service delivery as part of Scotland’s main public service reform project.

During the last 20 years Ian has worked for the Scottish Office and Scottish Government and has led on a number of policy initiatives, using programme and project management to assist with delivery, monitoring and evaluation. Most prominent was the Bill management of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 2003 which provided the underpinning for Best Value and Community Planning in Scotland. Ian has also managed numerous delivery programmes such as the former Community Regeneration Fund; a new groundbreaking investment programme in social enterprise – Futurebuilders; and was senior responsible officer for Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme working alongside the Scottish Futures Trust.

Ian has also chaired a number of highly visible initiatives on behalf of Government most notably the Scottish Government’s public service reform and efficiency programmes; follow through on the Crerar Review into the scrutiny of regulation, inspection and complaints handling in Scotland; the creation and launch of Scotland’s Environment Website; and the review of local economic development structures in Scotland.

Ian also has over 11 years experience in local government having led a series of high profile European investment programmes and having led a review of programme management structures for these programmes across Scotland.



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