Social Enterprise

socenthex.pngWhat is Social Enterprise?

While there is no single definition of social enterprise, Scotland’s Social Enterprise community came together in 2012 to form The Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland which sets out the criteria, values and behaviours by which social enterprises can be identified. 

To summarise, Social Enterprises are like any other type of business with the exception that the profits generated are reinvested back into the organisation in order to achieve its social or environmental aims; there are no shareholders taking a share of the profits. Social Enterprises differ from other third sector organisations in that they aim to generate their own funds through trading, by selling goods or services. They can however still access grant funding to support service delivery.   

Examples of local South Lanarkshire Social Enterprises include Feel the Warmth CIC which manufactures wearable heated products to help combat hypothermia and improve well-being, MorphFit Gentle Movement Project which delivers a range of exercise interventions to improve physical health, and EK Collective, a project supporting the growth of local businesses and organisations through offering access to flexible accommodation.  

Local and national Social Enterprise strategies

Scotland's Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-26 is the Scottish Government’s ten-year national strategy which sets out shared ambitions for developing the potential of Scotland’s social enterprise sector. 

Locally, the South Lanarkshire Social Enterprise Strategy 2023-27 was co-produced by South Lanarkshire Council and VASLan after consultation with the sector and wider stakeholders. Its vision is “to cultivate a vibrant and growing social enterprise sector in South Lanarkshire which creates social and environmental benefits for all” and it focuses on the same three priorities as the national strategy: 

  1. Stimulating social enterprise 

  1. Developing stronger organisations 

  1. Realising market opportunity 

VASLan Social Enterprise support

As the Third Sector Interface (TSI) for South Lanarkshire, VASLan provides a range of assistance to help stimulate and develop social enterprise, including supporting the development of new social enterprises from an initial idea, through to developing existing organisations seeking to introduce innovative ways to sustain activities and services. Tailored support includes: 

  • Guidance on identifying a suitable legal structure. 

  • Advice on defining aims and writing a governing document. 

  • Support with applications to Companies House and registering for charitable status. 

  • Assistance with annual monitoring requirements. 

  • Guidance on planning for the development of trading and/or sustainable income streams. 

  • Advice on carrying out monitoring and evaluation of projects. 

  • Linking to additional sources of support within The Scottish Social Enterprise Eco-System Map

  • Connecting with other social enterprises and accessing peer support and learning opportunities via the South Lanarkshire Social Enterprise Network (SLSEN). 

South Lanarkshire Social Enterprise Network (SLSEN)

Following a period of consultation with the sector, the South Lanarkshire Social Enterprise Network (SLSEN) was formally launched in November 2022.  

The SLSEN is a membership network of South Lanarkshire social enterprises that believe social enterprise can transform the economic, environmental, social, and cultural life of South Lanarkshire. By supporting, promoting, and developing social enterprise, the SLSEN aims to create an environment in South Lanarkshire in which social enterprises are able to flourish.  

Events are held in-person, typically every eight weeks, and hosted at a different social enterprise and locality on each occasion to ensure that all social enterprises have the opportunity to engage. Agendas are structured to include sector updates, learning opportunities, inputs form partners and social enterprises, workshops focusing on opportunities and challenges, and the opportunity to network with other social enterprises. An accompanying SLSEN Facebook group is available to support with sharing information and communicating between events. 

Please see the What's On section of VASLan’s website for details of upcoming SLSEN events. Summary videos from previous events as well as organisation spotlight videos focusing specifically on social enterprises can be found on the social enterprise playlist hosted on VASLan’s YouTube channel.  

For further information on social enterprise or be kept up to date with future SLSEN event details, please contact Kevin Magee (Social Enterprise Network Coordinator) at kevin.magee@vaslan,org,uk 

A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generatedA picture containing text

Description automatically generated