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Enterprising Edinburgh – Social Enterprise Strategy 2019-2023

Enterprising Edinburgh

A Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland’s Capital City

Edinburgh's Social Enterprise Strategy

Download: Enterprising Edinburgh: A Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland’s Capital City

Who is the strategy for?

This is a shared strategy for the Edinburgh Social Enterprise ecosystem which includes any individual and organisation involved in, or interested in supporting, Social Enterprise and in creating long term social benefits in Edinburgh. This ecosystem includes network providers, professional and support services providers, capacity builders, research institutes, funding bodies and policy makers, as well as social enterprises themselves.

Edinburgh has a strong Social Enterprise history and is recognised as a world leader in the sector. The city hosted the first Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in 2008 and the SEWF returned here for its 10th anniversary last year in 2018.

Edinburgh is home to the largest Social Enterprise Network (SEN)[i] in Scotland and this is the fourth Social Enterprise Strategy for the city since 2005.


Social enterprises make significant contributions to Edinburgh through creation of employment, volunteering and training opportunities; supporting vulnerable communities or addressing environmental issues. They do this by reinvesting their profits back into social, community and environmental benefits.

The Social Enterprise Strategy Implementation Group (SESIG) has a diverse membership, all of whom support the values and principles underlying the Social Enterprise sector. SESIG has been working for the past year on developing the fourth Social Enterprise Strategy for Edinburgh. The strategy aims to be inclusive and supportive of a wide range of organisations within the wider social economy, with a focus towards those who aspire to achieve code compliance.

Building on previous strategies, the key objectives in this edition are to; continue to grow the social enterprise community; increase the sustainability of organisations and the community; and evidence how this community adds value and makes a difference to social and economic outcomes in the city. We will do this through working with the wide range of stakeholders who make up the social enterprise ecosystem in Edinburgh and beyond.

Many thanks to all who have contributed to the production and support implementation of this strategy.

ESE - Emma Galloway, Chair

Emma Galloway

Chair, SESIG