Dean Lockhart MSP yesterday led the Scottish Conservatives in welcoming the Social Enterprise World Forum back to Scotland, and used the opportunity to add his congratulations to Callander on becoming Scotland’s first social enterprise place.
Since the first social enterprise world forum in 2008, social enterprises around the world have transformed lives, revitalised communities and helped to tackle major economic issues. Scotland has been at the forefront of those developments.
There are more than 5,000 social enterprises in Scotland today, playing an increasingly important role in the economy and contributing in ways that commercial enterprises do not. They play a unique role in economic, social and community development and they often save money for the public purse—for example, by helping to reduce reoffending rates through employing individuals who are sometimes passed over by the commercial sector.
In Callander, organisations such as Callander Youth Project Trust and Callander Community Hydro Ltd are great examples of the impact that can be made in communities and Dean placed on record his thanks for all the good work they do on behalf of their communities.
Dean also raised three issues which will be crucial for the growth of social enterprise into the future, these included ensuring that social enterprises have access to financial and business support, that public procurement policy is tailored towards local social enterprise and the need to de-clutter the landscape.