Community Enterprise have created an online tool to help navigate the social enterprise support landscape with ease.
The Scottish Government has committed to a 10-year social enterprise strategy with a significant support infrastructure. Each year Community Enterprise work with social entrepreneurs and a common trait they all have is a passion to do good and their dedication is inspirational. Yet knowing how to harness this passion and turn it into a sustainable social enterprise can be a difficult hurdle in the early days of development.
Accessing the right support at the right time is pivotal but knowing where to start can be daunting! The third sector is constantly adapting and keeping up to date with the relevant resources can be a full time job. This is why the Social Enterprise Scotland Map (SE map) was created to make the journey easier.
Over 30 years in the sector has taught Community Enterprise that sharing information is key and that is exactly what they wanted to do when they began the process of creating the map with their partner organisations. Community Enterprise, CEO, Douglas Westwater says ‘Over the years there has been some suggestion that the Scottish social enterprise support landscape is “cluttered”. It is our view that it is not so much cluttered as diverse. People need multiple routes in and different perspectives on their journey. We celebrate this diversity in our sector but the map is there to help people find what they need easily at the right time.‘
Sarah Cameron recently joined Community Enterprise from SENScot and has taken up the role of Programme & Initiative Development Manager. As part of her role, she will be looking to further develop the SE map, working closely with partner organisations and social entrepreneurs across the sector to understand what they need from the map long term.
Sarah mirrored Douglas’s thoughts on the right support at the right time; ‘There is so much support out there for social enterprises, but it can be a difficult landscape to navigate: the Map helps social entrepreneurs navigate that landscape, finding the right kind of support for them at the right time. We’re also updating it and will be adding more features to help social enterprises in different industries- so watch this space.’ In the new year we will be chatting more with Sarah to discuss her plans for the SSE map, we are excited to see its next evolution.
If you are a social entrepreneur or know an organisation that could benefit from the SE map then please share this article with them. The Community Enterprise team are always here to answer any questions and help guide in the process of accessing support.