- Social enterprise sector booming in face of tough economic climate -
The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition welcomed record numbers to its annual fair at the Corn Exchange this week (Wednesday 21 April 2010).
Over 100 social enterprises exhibited at the S2S Social Enterprise Fair, 20 per cent more than 2009, and the event attracted around 700 delegates, a 50 per cent boost on last year’s numbers.
S2S brings together social enterprises from across Scotland with the business community and policy makers in a dynamic environment, where they can trade, collaborate and develop partnerships for the future.
Forth Sector, The Wise Group and The Melting Pot were among some of the names exhibiting at the event, which also featured workshops and demonstrations, hosted by some of Scotland’s leading social entrepreneurs. Delegates also had the opportunity to purchase a range of produce from dairy and bakery goods to art and jewellery.
Antonia Swinson, chief executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition said: “This event gets bigger and better every year and we’re thrilled that the S2S Fair has once again proved to be such a success. Despite tougher trading conditions, the social enterprise movement continues to flourish in Scotland. People now look for real worth in their purchases and the exciting response to this year’s fair reflects the impressive growth of the sector.”
Social enterprises – businesses with a social or environmental purpose – now add an estimated £2 billion to the Scottish economy every year and employ around 30,000 people. The social enterprise movement offers a wealth of opportunities for public and private sector businesses.
Enterprise Minister Jim Mather, said: “The Scottish Government recognises the crucial contribution the third sector can make to supporting a strong and sustainable return to growth for Scotland’s economy – and we are committed to doing all we can to enable the sector to develop and evolve to deliver its full potential.
“The S2S Social Enterprise Fair directly supports this aim. By providing an opportunity for Scotland’s social enterprises to learn from each other, innovate together and pick up new business, the event helps to drive further growth in the sector and the Scottish economy as a whole.”
The S2S Fair is supported by the Scottish Government, with sponsorship from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and The City of Edinburgh Council.
For more information visit: www.s2sfair.com.