Next Steps for Growing Scotland's Social Enterprise Sector

Ahead of a Scottish Government census of the social enterprise sector, due to be carried out in Summer 2019, this event will examine key challenges facing social enterprises and provide practical guidance on accessing funding and bidding for contracts.

Addressing social needs and strengthening communities

Social enterprises contribute £2 billion to Scotland’s economy and employ around 80,000 people, whilst also tackling a multitude of social issues.

Building on the creation of a Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise, within the Scottish Parliament in 2018, the Scottish Government has announced that it will double seed funding for social enterprise start-ups and conduct a national census of the sector in summer 2019, in order to maintain Scotland’s place as a world-leader in social enterprise.

Yet many social enterprises still face significant barriers to growth including difficulty accessing funding and navigating complicated procurement processes.

Join Holyrood on 28 May as we take an in depth look at these issues and potential solutions. You’ll hear from a range of expert speakers from across Scotland, and have the opportunity to take part in practical, interactive discussion with delegates from across social enterprise, central and local government and the third sector.

Confirmed speakers

  • Ian Marr, Chief Executive, The Growth Partnership
  • Ailsa Clark, Development Manager, InspirAlba
  • Celia Hodson, Founder, Hey Girls
  • Bridie Ashrowan, Chief Executive, Broomhouse Centre
  • Councillor (TBC), City of Edinburgh Council
  • Representative, Apex Scotland

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Up-to-date brief on the latest developments within social enterprise, including a scrutiny of Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2026
  • Examine support, opportunities and innovative practice to enhance operations, impact and sustainability
  • Improving partnership working and CSR opportunities
  • Adapting to the changes and challenges ahead for social enterprises, and opportunities to drive innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Raising awareness of your social enterprise to increase funding opportunities, including hand-to-mouth funding
  • Sharing learning a good practice with established and new social enterprises of new and existing business model


10:30    Registration and Refreshments

11:00    Welcome and Introduction from Chair

             Alex Stobart, Director Scotland, Mydex CIC and Board Member, Social Enterprise  Scotland

11:05    Session 1: Current Policy and Challenges for the Sector

  • Overview and scrutiny of Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2026
  • Discussion of key challenges facing social enterprise

11:20    Presentation 

11:35    Presentation 

11:50    Roundtable Discussion

Delegates will lead the discussion and identify key opportunities and challenges going forward, and the key learning outcomes that they would like to take away from the day.

12:35    Presentation

12:55    Q&A

13:15    Refreshments and Networking

14:00    Session 2: Learning from Good Practice and Next Steps

  • Sharing learning and good practice with established and new social enterprises of new and existing business models
  • Practical guidance on accessing funding and navigating the procurement process

Speakers include:

14:00 People Focused Finance

  • Consistent cashflow
  • Flexible service provision
  • Partnership across Public, Private and Social sectors
  • Embedding local social capital

​Ian Marr, Chief Executive, The Growth Partnership

14:20    Presentation

14:40    Presentation

15:00    Questions and Discussion

15:25    Closing Remarks from Chair

15:30    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change

Our events are CPD certified. This event is equivalent to 3 CPD points.
A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees. 



Speaker callout

We are committed to bringing the latest policy information with engaging dialogue and practical case studies to make a real impact in the public sector. If you are a knowledge expert in your field or have an inspiring case study which would make an impact to Public Sector organisations, we would love to hear from you. Please email with your name and contact details, linkedin profile and a summary of your project or area or expertise and we will be in touch.


Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed in due course.


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)
For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635
28 May 2019



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