If you’re a social enterprise there are lots of people and places you can go to for help – so many, in fact, that it can all start to get a bit confusing.
So here’s a quick and simple guide to who’s who, what they do and the kind of support they give.
Firstport provides business support, advice and start-up awards to help people get their social enterprise business ideas off the ground
Highland Third Sector Partnership is the Third Sector ‘interface’ for the Highland area. With 8 partner organisations they are committed to working together with a common purpose and shared values and principles to represent and deliver the four core functions of a Third Sector Interface.
Social Enterprise Scotland is the voice of social enterprise - bringing together social enterprises and their supporters into a strong campaigning force. Scotland's gateway to social enterprise.
Social Enterprise Academyruns lots of different learning and training events to help you get to grips with all aspects of running a social enterprise business.
Business Gateway offer advice on starting, financing and growing your business. Whatever stage your business is at, Business Gateway offer a wide range of professional resources and support. All are designed to help you learn new skills, create opportunities and develop strategies for a sustainable business.
Senscot is a national organisation which has created lots of different networks for people with ideas – we call them social entrepreneurs. Senscot publishes a weekly news bulletin and is the main driving force behind local networks where social entrepreneurs meet to share ideas and do business.
Social Firms Scotland Social Firms are a particular kind of social enterprise with a focus on creating work in commercial businesses for severely disadvantaged people. Social Firms Scotland is the main national organisation for this type of social enterprise and whose work focuses on making sure the social firms sector grows.
Forth Sector Development Based in Edinburgh Forth Sector Development specialises in helping third sector organisations start up, develop and grow.
CEiSis the largest independent social enterprise support provider in Scotland.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is the Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency. Its key role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region.
Rural Directhelps rural community organisations access funding from a wide range of sources. It publishes a weekly rural network e-bulletin which, in our view, is brilliant at keeping people up to date with what’s in, what’s out and what’s on the horizon.
Co-operative Development Scotland. From start ups to buy-outs, CDS’s job is to help co-operative enterprise – many of which also trade as social enterprises – grow and flourish.
Development Trusts Association Scotland gives support, development and helps organise a range of events and trainings for communities – and there are growing numbers of them here in the Highlands and Islands – who want to run a successful community trust.