A new study by the Thompson Reuters Foundation has revealed the best and worst places in the world to be a social enterprise.
Social enterprises are companies that generate profits, but use these to help local communities, such as employing those with disabilities or supporting those in need. Canada, Australia, France, Belgium and Singapore topped the chart with Mexico propping up the league table of developed nations.
Social enterprises in countries at the top of the list cited government support, the ability to make a living as a social enterprise, access to investment and the public spending money with social enterprises as the main reasons for their successes.
The Netherlands was one of the fastest growing nations while the USA saw the biggest collapse in its rankings falling from first to 32nd. Despite social enterprises in the United Kingdom employing two million people, the country fell drastically in the league table with firms citing uncertainty caused by Brexit as a major hamper to their growth.
But according to Thomson Reuters‘ Belinda Goldsmith, speaking at the Social Enterprise World Forum opening session in Addis Ababa, this is not the case in Scotland:
In Scotland, we found social enterprises felt supported by the government with a ten year strategy in place to support social enterprises. How to become a social entrepreneur is even taught in some Scottish schools.
New Scottish investment
Around one in ten Scottish social enterprises export globally, according to Social Enterprise Scotland, and a delegation of more than 20 firms and supporting organisations is attending the Social Enterprise World Forum.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell has joined them in Addis Ababa to support the Scottish firms and help open doors for new opportunities. At the opening ceremony of the Forum, she announced an additional £1.8m (€2m) in funding for social enterprises in Scotland, with money set aside for those tackling environmental issues.
Scotland has a hugely positive reputation and a good story to tell when it comes to social enterprises. Our new social enterprise action plan will ensure we are not only delivering economic growth, but also improve the wellbeing of society.
Attending the Social Enterprise World Forum will ensure we continue to build on our successes and build international connections which will be more important than ever.