The aim of the Strengthening the Social Economy in Scotland DP was to improve the social economy in the three thematic areas of Funding and Finance, E-business, and Careers and Leadership. Objectives
The objectives of the DP were to:
- Set up a framework to foster developing an ‘entrepreneurial and enterprise’ culture within the social economy sector.
- Provide the capacity for growth and sustainability, leading to improvements in job quality in the sector.
- Significantly strengthen the cohesion, visibility and credibility of the social economy.
- Promote networking and collaboration between social economy organisations across Scotland to grow social economy activity.
Three Scotland-wide thematic pilots and four social economy zones were developed to test new ways of combating all forms of inequalities in the labour market. The social economy zones were:
Target beneficiary groups
- West Dunbartonshire;
- Highlands and Islands; and
- South of Scotland (Twin track of Roxburgh and Dumfries and Galloway)
The SEZ’s brought together local stakeholders in the social economy, including local social enterprises, Communities Scotland local representatives, local enterprise companies, Council for Voluntary Services, Local Authorities, housing groups and health trusts. These then drew up Local Action Plans to work together to strengthen the social economy.Main outcomes
The proposed outcomes of the programme were “increased confidence and competence within the sector; greater understanding and breaking down of barriers within procuring agencies; and ultimately a more entrepreneurial and sustainable social economy”. This was achieved by holding events, sounding boards, training programmes and other means of sharing and disseminating best practice..
The steering group remained the hub of the DP, to ensure that the pilots did not simply operate autonomously, but remained committed to the partnership. There was also a development officer who worked to ensure the transfer of best practice information between the pilot projects.