13 September 2018
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed delegates, made up of social entrepreneurs, supporters of the social enterprise movement and corporate sponsors, to the Social Enterprise World Forum reception in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
Here in Scotland, we already have a very strong social enterprise culture. This country has traditionally been at the forefront of social enterprise – from pioneering the co-operative movement of the 19th century – to developing new forms of community business in the late 20th century. And that tradition continues to this day.
It is a good example of the contribution that social enterprises make to community life. And it is one that is reflected throughout our country.
In total, there are 5,600 social enterprises in Scotland. That figure has grown by 8%, since 2015. And those enterprises now employ around 80,000 people. We want to encourage further growth. That is why, over the past two years, the Scottish Government has provided over £7 million to deliver the aims of our social enterprise strategy.
Scotland is eager to learn from the experience of other countries, across the world. That is why we are so supportive of the Social Enterprise World Forum and it is why we are so delighted to welcome all of you to Edinburgh.”