Social enterprise

Social Enterprise World Forum to benefit region

Representatives from social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands are currently taking part in the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand where they will promote a range of activity from the region.

Alongside the summit, study visits to social enterprises will help delegates from the Highlands and Islands to gain an insight into, and learn from, social enterprises in other countries.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting Ionad Hiort from the Isle of Lewis and Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust and to attend the week long forum and international study tour.

HIE staff are also participating at the World Forum where they are speaking about community assets and how social enterprises achieve social impact.

The importance of social enterprises in promoting equality, creating jobs, developing skills and boosting the economy is a priority for HIE.

Douglas Cowan, Director, Strengthening Communities, said: “Social enterprises bring far reaching economic and community benefits to many of our most rural areas. They create jobs, attract people and bring investment. Our region’s social entrepreneurs are very ambitious and optimistic. The sector is expanding and is well placed to drive further growth in areas such as creative industries, renewable energy, food and drink and tourism.

“We are delighted that the two Highland based social enterprises are joining us at the World Forum, and for them to get the opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the sector in other areas around the world and explore potential partnerships and collaborations opportunities with other delegates.”

The event is supported by CEIS (Community Enterprise in Scotland) along with the Scottish Government.

Meanwhile, Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities headed a Scottish delegation  at the closing ceremony during which she accepted handover of the event, which will next take place on 12-14th September 2018 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

She said "Creating a fairer Scotland is something that I am passionate about.  Social enterprises are at the heart of this and fantastic examples of what we want to achieve – reducing inequality, lifting people out of poverty and encouraging more empowered and resilient communities. 

I am proud of all we have achieved, working collaboratively and I look forward to doing even more in the years to come.  We will continue to support social enterprises and will work with social enterprise communities at home and abroad.  I look forward to welcoming the Social Enterprise World Forum back to Scotland next year."
Ten years on since the first ever event in Edinburgh, founders of the Social Enterprise World Forum and organisers of the 2018 event, Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS) are set to welcome 1,200 delegates from across the globe to the ‘Most Beautiful Country in the World’ as recently voted by the Rough Guides Readers’ Poll 2017. And at the handover ceremony in Christchurch, CEIS and the British Council launched a video to showcase Scotland’s diverse, vibrant social enterprise sector and introduce Edinburgh as the event’s next host city.


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