Support for a Rural Hub for Social Enterprise in Scotland
As part of a commitment of funding designed to support the growth of grassroots social enterprises, the Scottish Government have provided support for the creation of a Rural Social Enterprise Hub.
The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will provide a focal point for research and development activity to support social enterprise in the rural context in Scotland and to cascade learning more widely from an international perspective. The hub will build on learning from ViSENet (Village Social Enterprise Network) Erasmus project, developed with European partners in Finland, Estonia, Romania and Germany and establish a digital network for rural social enterprises to share experiences.
The support was announced by Aileen Campbell Communities Secretary during a visit to meet with rural stakeholders who were attending an event to learn about materials produced for the ViSENet (Village Social Enterprise Network) Erasmus project.
Over the coming months staff involved in the project will be reaching out to gather information and case studies from those involved in social enterprise across rural Scotland. This will include a survey to determine which elements should be the initial focus of the hub.
Announcing the funding at the launch of the hub, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
"Social enterprises are a vital part of our community and economy. They have a distinctive character and often play a role in preserving vital services such as community shops and transport, and creating employment opportunities. The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will share knowledge and best practice in social enterprise, both across Scotland and internationally.”
Ailsa Clark, Development Manager for the hub said:
"This will give us the opportunity to learn from the rural experience across Scotland to inform policy and better understand opportunities to use digital tools to connect rural social enterprises. This launch recognises the significance of social enterprise in the rural context - with 33% of all Scotland’s social enterprises in rural areas but only 17% of the population, there is much to be learned.”
- Charitable social enterprise Inspiralba, based in Campbeltown, along with partners; University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute (coordinator), Finland, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), Romania, Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU), Estonia, Nürtingen-Geislingen University (NGU), Germany are working on the Erasmus ViSENet project. Village Social Enterprise Network Erasmus project aims to enhance the ideas and methods to promote and support social enterprise in rural areas