What support is available for Social Enterprises

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What is a Social Enterprise?

A Social Enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in financial, social, and environmental well-being. According to a 2019 Census study there are over 6,000 Social Enterprises in Scotland.

Social Enterprise and Procurement

The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) fulfils the Government manifesto commitment from 2011 to provide local businesses including social enterprises with advice to make them better placed to win public sector contracts in Scotland and throughout the UK.

As well as benefiting from the range of free tender training, social enterprises can amplify its social impact by engaging via SDP with the public sector and the wider supply chain and in some circumstances feed into and influence how services can be better delivered for the common good.

By registering with SDP you can keep up to date with contract opportunities and projects that are seeking a variety of suppliers.

What tender support is available for a Social Enterprise?

Benefits to Social Enterprises in Scotland that are registered with SDP include:

  • Access to any SDP event in any area of Scotland – all free.
  • Access to SDP's core training events to help you get 'tender ready' for any public sector contract opportunity.
  • Free attendance at Meet the Buyer, Meet the Buyer North, and Meet the Buyer South as well as local “Meet the Real Buyer” events that provide face-to-face access to Buyers from public and private sector organisations.
  • Full access to SDP's eLearning modules.
  • Full access to information, resources, toolkits and templates on the SDP website that are designed with you in mind.
  • Option to include your company listing on SDP’s Supplier Register, which can be viewed by other Scottish-based SMEs and Buyers.
  • Receive regular newsletters.
  • Access to a local business support network.

External Resources

Social Enterprise Scotland

Business Gateway


Just Enterprise

Third Sector Interfaces (TSI)

Social Enterprise Academy

Social Growth Fund

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