About the Rural Social Enterprise Hub

About The Rural SE Hub

We provide a space for collaboration, peer to peer learning, and knowledge exchange between all those committed to thriving rural social enterprise.

We also showcase the contribution social enterprise makes to our rural communities.

There is something distinctive about rural social enterprise. Figures from the Social Enterprise in Scotland Survey 2019 show that:

  • Scotland’s rural and remote areas have 33% of all social enterprises in Scotland and yet just 17% of the population.
  • There are 23 social enterprises per 10,000 people in rural areas compared to 9 in urban areas.
  • The top regions per 10,000 of the population are islands:(Shetland 47, Nan Eilean Siar 45, Orkney 31).
  • 24% of all rural social enterprises cover a neighbourhood/ community and are accountable to people in that area.
  • 37% report starting trading in response to market failure.

While social enterprises in rural areas are diverse, they face particular challenges in terms of logistics, costs, market size, demographic change and the withdrawal of /public services.

At the same time opportunities are presented by natural resources, the tradition of enterprising communities and collective leadership. In many areas, small, locally focused social enterprises play a crucial role in sustaining vital services for rural communities.

Recognising an opportunity to learn from the rural experience, the Scottish Government  provide a small amount of funding to Inspiralba to support the Rural Social Enterprise Hub.

The Hub

  • Scotland’s rural and remote areas have 33% of all social enterprises in Scotland and yet just 17% of the population.
  • There are 23 social enterprises per 10,000 people in rural areas compared to 9 in urban areas.
  • The top regions per 10,000 of the population are islands:(Shetland 47, Nan Eilean Siar 45, Orkney 31).
  • 24% of all rural social enterprises cover a neighbourhood/ community and are accountable to people in that area.
  • 37% report starting trading in response to market failure.

Our Stakeholder Report detailing the work from our first 18 months is available here:

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

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