Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy

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Posted by: SEWF admin / 25 January 2017

Scotland’s new 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy was launched at the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh on Wednesday 14 December, 2016.

The new strategy sets out a clear vision to ensure that our social enterprise business community thrives and grows over the next decade and beyond.

The strategy was produced in partnership with Scotland’s social enterprise support and development bodies and The Scottish Government.

In a joint statement, Pauline Graham, CEO of Social Firms Scotland, Aidan Pia, Executive Director of Senscot and Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Scotland, said:

“Scotland is a recognised world leader in social enterprise support and development. The journey towards the launch of this ambitious strategy has been both rewarding and challenging. Our social enterprise community, stretching across every area of urban and rural Scotland, is diverse. This new strategy sets out a clear, powerful and inclusive vision for the growth of social enterprise over the next decade and beyond.”

Please click here to download the Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-26.

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A Tour of the “trending trajectory” of Social Purchasing!

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Posted by: SEWF admin / 17 January 2017

Social Purchasing is “Encouraging a shift towards procurement based on achieving multiple outcomes in addition to maximizing financial value.” (Social Procurement and New Public Governance: Barraket et al, 2016)

Social purchasing intentionally multiplies the social and economic ripples of existing purchasing from merely supplier benefits to community benefits.

This tour through social purchasing initiatives is an evolving ‘map’ as we go along the journey. We couldn’t cover every possible point of interest, so we tried to provide a good overview. Please send us any additions to the itinerary!

Why is the tour a ‘trending trajectory’?

A Trend is the prevailing tendency; changes in a situation or in the way that people are behaving; a direction in which something is developing.

A Trajectory is the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given force, a progression.

Background for the Tour

Social purchasing and Community Benefit Agreements are now moving beyond experiments. They are becoming innovative and effective implementations across multiple jurisdictions and locations. They are creating targeted employment opportunities, enhancing local economic development, and contributing to healthy communities. And through social purchasing social enterprises are seeing their sales opportunities increase, and their social impact grow.

In the spring of 2014 I published Exploring Social Procurement, which outlined opportunities and barriers to advance social purchasing, especially for governments. The paper noted that we were at an early development and emerging stage of social purchasing. (

Now just three years later Social Purchasing is on an amazing “trending” trajectory!

So, rather than me trying to write a comprehensive observation and analysis of what is evolving in social purchasing globally, let me just provide a tour of some quotes and quips. You can explore and see for yourself!

Read full Report here. (


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Social entrepreneurs in Ghana

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Posted by: SEWF admin /

Social entrepreneurs in Ghana have been encouraged to use digital media to promote their business.

Young women entrepreneurs have underscored the importance of using digital media to creating visibility for their business, attracting new clients, investors and partners.

At a networking forum dubbed ‘Women Innovate: Digital’, by international NGO, Reach for Change with support from Women in Social Enterprise and telecom operator, Tigo, several women shared their positive experience on promoting their business through digital media.

Providing guidance on how social entrepreneurs’ can use digital tools to tell their stories’, the Creative Director and Founding Editor for, Jemila Abdulai, said it was important for social and digital entrepreneurs to own the narratives of their business.

“As young business women, we need to tell our story and control the narratives about our business, else other people will tell it and it may not be favourable to our business.”

She also said it was important for entrepreneurs to create a digital trail of all the amazing work that they do. This would help them raise the profile of their business, attract partnership or even funding from other bigger organisations.

Another Digital and Social entrepreneur and founder of Tatas and Friends and Go Digital Ghana, Caritas Naa Ayele Aryee, recounted how she started her business online and used social media to drive engagement, participation and raise funds for various deprived schools.

“With very limited budget I started Tatas and Friends and engaged digital influencers to help me build an online presence. I used my own story and my passion to help others to connect and engage with the followers I had built on social media. Together we created fantastic social media buzz about ‘Kenkey for the needy’ and got radio and television inviting us to come for live interviews”, she revealed.

Ms. Toyin Dania from Djembe Communications, a PR and Communications Consultancy, opined storytelling is a combination of marketing, public relations, sales and social responsibility. She was of the view that if it was employed effectively on digital platforms, it could be used to grow social enterprises and positively impact society.

The panel also educated participants on the do’s and don’ts of social media engagement and some of the digital and social tools they could employ to dictate the narrative about what they do and to create an advantage for their various brands.


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With one of the world’s largest infrastructure pipelines, the Australian government has an unprecedented opportunity to leverage its spending power to address disadvantage and inequity in the communities in which it will build.

Crossrail in the UK is Europe’s largest construction project and currently employs over 10,000 people across over 40 sites. It is a wonderful example of how major infrastructure projects can rejuvenate the communities which they touch. This project is anticipated to create 55,000 full-time equivalent jobs and over 600 apprenticeships during construction alone through direct and indirect employment opportunities with an emphasis on UK companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), local employment, re-employment of the unemployed, apprentices and long-term skills development.

With one of the world’s largest infrastructure and construction pipelines, the Australian government is in danger of missing an unprecedented opportunity to leverage its spending power to address persistent disadvantage and inequity in our community. While recent amendments to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules coming into effect on 1 March 2017, require those tendering for government work to comply with ‘relevant regulations and/or regulatory frameworks’ regarding labour relations and ethical employment practices, occupational health and safety and environmental impacts,  they don’t go far enough.

Social procurement is one policy lever which governments could make more use of in ensuring that future Australian construction and infrastructure projects reflect the Crossrail outcomes. In simple terms, social procurement involves governments leveraging their purchasing power to require those tendering for government projects to give back to the communities in which they build. Social procurement can take many forms from the direct purchasing of products and services from social benefit organisations which specialise in employing disadvantaged groups such as Indigenous, disabled, ex-offenders, ethnic minorities, youth or the long-term unemployed, to the indirect use of contractual clauses to require existing supply chain partners to contribute to the communities in which they work, by employing disadvantaged people and local businesses etc. This in-turn translates to numerous longer-term benefits for the wider community such as increased wealth, better health and reduced crime, which can be measured using various emerging social impact measurement techniques.

Knowing that the bulk of the construction industry responds to market drivers and regulation better than anything else, and is unlikely to voluntary change, some forward-thinking Australian governments and private clients with a social conscience and major construction program are developing social procurement regulations and policies to force the construction industry to give back to the communities in which it works. The Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (2015), NSW Policy on Aboriginal Participation in Construction (2015), The Queensland Government’s Building and Construction Training Policy (2015) and its Charter for Local Content are all examples of how governments can use a range of soft and hard policy levers to do this. More recently, the Victorian Government has introduced a mandatory requirement into its major infrastructure works program of $25 billion that 2.5% of project hours be allocated to indigenous employment and 10% to apprentices and trainees. There are also requirements for the employment of disadvantaged people from local communities through direct employment and through leveraging existing supply chains. Encouragingly, NSW Premier and Cabinet have also set up a Steering Committee to explore social procurement opportunities for the new Western Sydney Airport.

However, apart from a few leading companies like Multiplex who have been experimenting successfully with social procurement on major projects for a number of years, the vast majority of the construction industry remain blissfully ignorant of this emerging trend, lacking the new skills to manage these new cross-sector partnerships and unaware of their potential role in building a more to equitable and sustainable society. While many will claim to have significant corporate social responsibility strategies, most are non-strategic and typically consist of a rather random selection of philanthropic initiatives which are largely disconnected from corporate objectives and real community needs around specific project locations. They fail to come anywhere near satisfying the social requirements which major governments will begin imposing on our industry, driven by new trends in public governance which emphasise partnership with the private sector in meeting increasingly ‘wicked’ social problems within an environment of declining welfare budgets.

The challenge for the construction industry in engaging with this new unstoppable agenda which is gathering pace around the world is in working collaboratively with a whole host of previously unknown third sector organisations, while balancing competiveness and productivity. Recent research into social enterprise in the construction industry shows that there are many barriers-to-entry for the growing numbers of social benefit organisations which work in the construction sector. This research also shows that most construction companies see the community as a risk rather than an opportunity, and currently lack the skills to engage them effectively.

Recent world events have vividly demonstrated that equity of opportunity and wealth distribution are the basis of a stable and prosperous society. It’s time the construction industry stood up to be counted and met its full responsibilities to society.

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Social Value Summit

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Posted by: SEWF admin /

Now in its 4th year, the Social Value Summit is the leading event in its field, attracting over 300 leaders from across the private, public and social sectors. It is organised by Social Enterprise UK & Interserve, supported by Business in the Community.

When? – February 8th 2017
Where? – Institution of Engineering & Technology, Savoy Place, Embankment, London (

This year, the event will have three main themes

  • Social value as a route to a more inclusive economy
  • The social value of infrastructure
  • Social value for business: productivity, markets and supply chains

For attendees, the Summit will deliver

  • Leading expertise in the field of social value measurement & reporting
  • Up-to—the minute information and intelligence on good practice
  • Practical advice and take-aways on what to do in your organisation
  • Dialogue and debate on key issues from high quality speakers
  • Leaders from across sectors in attendance
  • Excellent networking
  • An outline agenda with workshop themes is below.

Already confirmed speakers include

  • Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks and Spencer
  • Veronica Daly, Director Parliamentary Procurement and Commercial Service
  • Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Business in the Community
  • Lesley Dixon, PSS
  • June O’Sullivan, LEYF
  • Rob Wolfe, Construction & Housing Yorkshire
  • Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK
  • Guy Battle, Social Value Portal
  • Mark Bolger, Social Profit Calculator
  • Vidhya Alakeson, Power to Change
  • Ben Carpenter, Social Value UK
  • Anna Whitty, MBE, ECT Group
  • Chris Catterall, Public Services Lab
  • as well as senior representatives from Interserve, Business in the Community & government

Book here (

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