Social enterprises sell products and services and use the profits they make to deliver a positive impact around social and environmental objectives in their local communities.
Just as a private business can be established in a number of ways, there are various legal structures that social enterprises can be set up as. You can find more information about the different social enterprise models on this page.
Buy Social Scotland is a gift directory, but not an ecommerce platform. We aim to make it easier to find hundreds of gifts, experiences and vouchers from social enterprises at gifting seasons through the year and even though you can't purchase directly through the website, you can click on the 'Purchase on Website' button each gift listing to go to the purchase page on the social enterprise's own website.
If you are a social enterprise based in Scotland we would love to hear from you and promote you on this website and as part of our #BuySocialScotland campaign. Please complete this online form or email us at email@example.com to get started - it's free to be promoted.
Yes! If you're a private, public or third sector procurement buyer interested in buying services from social enterprises, you can take a look at our B2B directory which launched in September 2021 at BuySocialScotland.com/Business. We're also happy to recommend social enterprises based on your needs, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know more about what you're looking for.
That's wonderful news! Scotland has a rich ecosystem of support for social enterprise, with both start-up help, business support, and start up finance available for people and organisations looking to deliver social and environmental impact. A good place to start is Firstport.org.uk who can help advise you.
Depending on the legal structure a social enterprise is set up with, it may commit a different level of profits towards its social or environmental aims. This could be due to a number of reasons including how the business plans to raise finance, where start-up capital came from or whether it also applies for charitable funds. If this is important to you, you can select which organisations you see in the gift directory by using the profit filter.
There are many examples of private sector businesses that support communities, places, charitable causes or the environment. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Social Governance goals are increasingly important and many companies are also pursuing B-Corp credentials as customers, employees and investors care more than ever before about ethical and sustainable practices. This is a move in the right direction and we support partnerships between the private and social enterprise sector through our B2B directory and Buy Social Pledge.