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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00583: Richard Lochhead (Moray)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 8 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what support is available for social enterprises that work with schools to use the outdoors for educational purposes.

Answered by: Angela Constance 16 June 2016

The Scottish Government has invested heavily in developing and supporting social enterprise in recent years and has maintained direct investment of £24.5 million in the third sector in 2016-17, which includes support for social enterprise. This support is available to social enterprises that engage across a range of activities including, where appropriate, social enterprises which work with schools to use the outdoors for educational purposes and which use the outdoors to promote mental health and well-being. The framework of support available includes:

The business support provided by Just Enterprise which helps social enterprises develop and become more sustainable. To date Just Enterprise has supported over 5,700 individuals and organisations.

Working to open public sector markets to third sector organisations through the Ready for Business partnership.

The Social Entrepreneurs Fund, delivered by Firstport, which has made 340 awards and supported more than 280 individuals since 2009. The Fund aims to turn great business ideas that benefit people, communities and the environment into social enterprises.

The Scottish Government also funds intermediaries and partners such as Social Enterprise Scotland, Social Firms Scotland, SENSCOT and Social Enterprise Academy to provide expertise and support in raising awareness of social enterprise, building social enterprise networks, providing training and leadership development and working with the public sector to develop appropriate policies.

The Scottish Government will, in the coming months, be co-producing and publishing both a ten year national strategy for social enterprise in Scotland, and an international social enterprise strategy for Scotland. The national strategy will build on the extensive visioning work carried out by the social enterprise sector and will set out the Scottish approach to social enterprise for the coming decade.