Spotlight on Social Enterprise – as part of Argyll Enterprise Week

October 5, 2016

The Social Enterprise Focus as part of Argyll Enterprise Week, recognises the significant contribution social enterprises make not only to the Argyll Economy but to the sustainability of services and communities across the area.

The social enterprise sector in Argyll and Bute has a combined income of almost £40.7m, a spending power of £38.7.8m (and total assets of £15.1m), whilst making a significant contribution to delivering a range of community benefits and supporting the sustainability of our rural communities. Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes. Most social enterprises in Argyll and Bute are small (43%) or medium (28%) in size with a turnover of less than £100K and operate across a diverse range of trading activity including manufacturing, health and care, sport and leisure, housing, retail, hospitality, tourism and financial services.

Social enterprises are involved in the provision of vital services, such as elderly care and childcare as well as taking on vital enterprise activities where market failure may be an issue, ensuring vital services continue, such as island fuel stations, village stores and post offices. The social enterprise sector supports an estimated 1,795 jobs, which makes it a serious generator of employment, comparable to other important sectors, such as transport, manufacturing and construction. 

Argyll Enterprise Week provides an opportunity for those involved in social enterprise across Argyll and Bute to come together share experience, learn from each other and from specialists to keep informed on opportunities and the range of support available.

The evening of Wednesday 2nd November brings: The ‘Spotlight on Social Enterprise’ to Oban. A showcase of short films highlighting some of the work of social enterprises in the area and the contribution they are making in local communities. The Film event will be aptly held at Oban Phoenix Cinema, (a social enterprise formed to secure and improve the cinema offering for locals and visitors to the area). The event and discussion will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, well known for her work in support of community land ownership and community owned energy and we have already received some great short films, so the evening is shaping up to be very lively, engaging and entertaining.

Spotlight on Social Enterprise film submissions are welcome and will be selected by a panel from the organisers. For further information about submitting a film, download our call for entries sheet or contact David Rennie.

A post film informal networking evening, hosted by Hope Kitchen, (who will share their experiences of venturing in to enterprise to support their charitable objectives), will be held at Oban SYHA Hostel. In previous years Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network hosted similar networking activities and informal sessions, in to the wee small hours, proved to be where the real connections collaborations and mutual support relationships were often formed. The Scottish Community Alliance have provided funding to support this learning exchange and cover accommodation costs to assist participants from Across the area to attend, (travel bursaries are also available). To book accommodation please contact Ailsa Clark.

Thursday 3rd November, brings a day full of learning, networking and information exchange, with speakers from Scottish Government and Social Enterprise Scotland and workshops led by the Social Enterprise Academy, Firstport and Business Gateway. A Dragon’s Den will also feature, with the opportunity to pitch to a panel to secure investment to help with costs to launch new start up social enterprise activities or to support a new area of growth for established social enterprises. Thanks to sponsorship from Inspiralba, Argyll and Bute Council and Firstport over £3,000 in the pot so far, will be up for grabs. Submissions for the Dragons Den entries need to be made in advance, application forms can be downloaded from this link and further information is available from Lorna Hawthorn.

Kim Wallace Network Co-ordinator at SENSCOT said:

It is great to see this opportunity for social enterprises in Argyll and Bute to come together, network and learn from each other. Argyll and Bute is recognised nationally for its vibrant social enterprise sector and the event provides an opportunity to build on the successful work that was previously led by the social enterprise network in the area.

Ailsa Clark, Founder and Development Manager of Inspiralba, a Campbeltown based social enterprise said

We are delighted to have been involved in organising the event and be a sponsor for the Dragons Den and Film night. The event provides an opportunity to recognise the broad spectrum of activity and the contribution of the social enterprise sector delivering social, environmental and economic benefits to communities across Argyll. It is shaping up to be a really exciting programme, a great opportunity to support local social enterprises to raise the profile of their work.

For further information and to download application forms for Focus on Social Enterprise day follow this link.