What is Just Enterprise?

Posted in: Blog.

A picture of a microscope with the Just Enterprise logo inside a speech bubble above it

With the fourth iteration of the Just Enterprise programme now officially launched, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what it offers and how it is evolving to deliver the impactful support modern-day social enterprises need to flourish.

What is Just Enterprise?

Just Enterprise is the go-to source of support for social enterprises and enterprising Third Sector organisations in Scotland.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the programme offers specialist support to anyone looking to start, strengthen or grow their social enterprise. This can take the form of tailored one-to-one support from one of their expert business advisers, workshops or e-learning modules covering a variety of essential topics and even a range of leadership programmes and coaching.

Who qualifies for support?

Any organisation or individual looking to further social or environmental aims through income-generating activity can benefit from Just Enterprise support.

This could look like:

  • A potential social entrepreneur with nothing more concrete than an idea they wish to explore;
  • An established social enterprise gearing up to enter new markets;
  • A community group seeking to purchase a local building;
  • A charity looking to diversify their income streams through an enterprising activity;
  • And anything in between!

Just Enterprise business advisers have a wide range of experience, so no matter what stage your business is at, they have the knowledge and skills to help.

What support is on offer?

Participants can access support in a variety of ways. Workshops run regularly throughout the year and cover a wide range of topics.

These include subject areas like:

  • Idea development
  • Business planning
  • Governance
  • Funding
  • Marketing
  • Measuring social impact
  • Preparing for net zero
  • And much more.

All workshops are entirely free of charge and are delivered in-person or online in a webinar format.

If it’s too tricky to carve out time to attend these, then there is also a growing selection of e-learning modules which can be accessed at a time and place that suits.

Whilst this range of learning options will go a long way towards equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to drive success, sometimes a more personal approach is required. This is where Just Enterprise’s unique one-to-one business support comes in.

The programme’s specialist advisers really are the best in the business. Each one already works for a Third Sector organisation, so they fully understand the challenges and opportunities which come from balancing social impact with income generation.

Find out more and apply for support here.

Just Enterprise’s impact

Since its inception in 2011, the programme has supported  over 11,000 individuals and nearly 8,000 organisations across all local authorities in Scotland.

In real terms, this means that participating organisations have been helped to increase turnover by, on average, £50,000 and create two new full-time jobs – that’s some impact!

You can read some real-life stories of the impact Just Enterprise has had on their blog

Who is behind Just Enterprise?

The programme is delivered by a consortium of Third Sector partners led by CEIS who work with Firstport, Social Enterprise Academy, Impact Hub Inverness, Community Enterprise, CEMVO Scotland, Inspiralba, Inspirent, SEI UK, , Social Investment Scotland, Social Value Lab and The Circle. Between them, they cover all of Scotland and have the experience and expertise to support social entrepreneurs and social enterprises at any stage of their journey.

The team of business advisers across the partnership numbers over 40 at any given time, with each bringing their own set of specialist skills and knowledge to make sure that participants benefit from the exact support their unique situation requires.

An ever-evolving programme

In the twelve years since Just Enterprise began, the social enterprise sector in Scotland has seen big changes and big challenges. Now entering its fourth iteration, the programme continues to evolve to make sure that it provides the most relevant support to help the sector address these challenges.

This latest programme has been further expanded to cover key areas of the Scottish Government’s Social Enterprise Action Plan, including crucial guidance on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Net Zero.

Just Enterprise 4 also aims to be the most inclusive iteration of the programme to date, with increased targeted support for those facing additional barriers due to disability, race or socio-economic factors.

There will be a focus on producing more digital and interactive content in line with changing audience preferences and making sure that all content is as accessible as possible.

Just Enterprise will also be keeping a closer ear to the ground in the sector itself to ensure that it continues to create and deliver workshops that keep abreast of the key issues and developments that affect our social enterprise ecosystem.

We are excited to see how the programme continues to develop. Stay in the loop by following Just Enterprise on LinkedIn and Twitter and sign up to receive email updates at justenterprise.org/mailing-list.



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