Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2017

New census reveals growth of social enterprises in Scotland

The latest Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2017 report shows a growth in the number of social enterprises and their economic impact.

The research cements Scotland’s global reputation as a world-leading nation in the support and development of social enterprise:

·       5600 social enterprises now operating in Scotland (up from 5199 in 2015)

·       64% of Scotland’s social enterprises led by women

·       £2bn GVA, the economic contribution of social enterprises to Scotland

·       34% of social enterprises located in rural Scotland

·       50% negatively affected by the economic climate over the last 12 months

·       599 social enterprises formed in the last two years

·       81,357 full-time equivalent employees in Scottish social enterprises

·       1:2.5, is the average differential between the highest and lowest paid worker

Download – Full Census Report

Download – Summary Census Report

SFS is particularly interested in the role of social enterprise plays in employment/employability, particularly for people with significant barriers to employment/complex support needs.  The Census reports that

  • 18% have a MAIN aim of creating employment, training, work experience and volunteering opportunities within the social enterprise
  • 41% employ people formerly disadvantaged in the labour market
  • 49% employ previously unemployed young people (under 25)
  • 63% provide training or support intended to improve employability
  • In almost 4 of 5 cases (79%), social enterprises draw more than half their workforce from the local labour pool

The research was led in partnership with a range of sector support organisations (including Social Firms Scotland) and The Scottish Government.

Gerry Higgins, of Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEiS), speaking on behalf of the steering group said:

“Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2017 demonstrates a strong and growing social enterprise community in Scotland. The data in the report contain a broadly positive picture, with social enterprises making a significant economic contribution and demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges for the economy and public services.

“Social enterprises play an essential role in communities across the country, particularly in the most remote parts of Scotland. The 2017 Census also shows that some parts of the sector remain fragile or in need of continuing support to fully realise their potential.

“This is the second time we’ve measured social enterprise activity across every region of Scotland and allows us to begin comparing and contrasting the data with the 2015 Census.

“As public expectations of business and the need for an inclusive economy grow, we need to continue investing in Scotland’s world-class support for social enterprise. A huge thank you must go to everyone who took part in leading the research, from the national steering group to the dedicated research team who produced such a thorough and robust report.”

Note that while many of the new statistics can be compared to the 2015 report, some data gathering has been improved and direct comparisons are not possible e.g. the number of jobs is now a full time equivalent figure.

Download – Full Census Report

Download – Summary Census Report