Arts & Business Scotland is an independent Scottish charity. We act as a conduit between the cultural and business sectors, helping to nurture the creative, social and commercial relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland. Our aim is to increase investment for the arts from businesses and individuals, while encouraging the exchange of business and creative skills in both sectors.
West Lothian Social Enterprise Network (WLSEN) is a membership network composed of leaders in social enterprise in West Lothian. Social enterprises help our communities thrive socially, environmentally and economically. We are proud of our diverse ecosystem of organisations covering sectors from cleaning and environmental management, to care services, employment and training, food, theatre, community, housing, children & young people, older people, business development, and so much more!
Our vision is for inclusive, more prosperous, better educated, and healthier communities on the Island of Lewis in particular and across the Outer Hebrides in general. We work closely with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), the Scottish Government and the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) on matters of governance, good practice, and ensuring effective third sector service delivery. We provide face to face advice on issues including governance, funding, volunteer support, PVG schemes, project development, organisational health checks, charitable status, dispute resolution and barriers to employment.
OHSEP offers practical support to social enterprises across the Hebrides, and is a partner on the Western Isles Third Sector Interface – TSI Western Isles. We help the Scottish Government meet its national outcome, ‘that social enterprise develops and grows’. We do this by acting as a voice for social enterprises, providing one to one guidance to social enterprises and aspiring social entrepreneurs (e.g. sign-posting for business planning, feasibility studies, legal structures, sources of finance, marketing); and attending regular networking meetings to provide general advice and updates on current affairs to those managing social enterprises and signposting social entrepreneurs to specialist training, such as employment law, marketing, and other areas.
Scotland Food & Drink are here to nurture, support and champion the people and products of Scotland’s food and drink industry to help deliver continued and growing success. They guide their members to realise untapped potential, to unlock new markets and maximise opportunities. They are committed to strengthening reputations, developing growth strategies and broadening networks which will deliver the competitive edge to members and continued success for Scotland’s food and drink industry.
The Growth Impact Fund is a social investment fund, helping fast growth early-stage social businesses to grow their impact. It is a joint venture run in partnership with Big Issue Invest, UnLtd and Shift. It exists to make social investment better for founders from underrepresented backgrounds and their teams. Great social leaders come from all backgrounds, but many have been excluded from accessing the capital and support they need to thrive. The Growth Impact Fund is here to change that. It aims for a minimum of fifty percent of the fund to go to businesses who are already led by diverse teams, and to support social businesses who are aiming to increase their commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion.
TSI Western Isles works to support, develop and promote the interests and work of voluntary and community organisations in the Western Isles. We are one of the Third Sector Interfaces funded by the Scottish Government to provide a single point of access for support and advice for the third sector.
As a Third Sector Interface, WDCVS holds a unique position in supporting, promoting, developing and representing volunteering and sector activity across West Dunbartonshire. Our vision is of a West Dunbartonshire where everyone can contribute their enthusiasm, skills and drive, improving quality of life and opportunity in our communities.
Edinburgh Social Enterprise supports, promotes and develops social enterprise in Edinburgh and serves as a hub creating social and economic growth. Our mission is to create opportunities for Edinburgh’s Social Enterprise community to develop and thrive, recognising its positive impact on society and the local community.
Plunkett Foundation is a national charity that supports rural communities across the UK to tackle the issues they face through community business. Community businesses are enterprises that are owned and run democratically by members of the community, on behalf of the community. From shops and pubs to farms and woodlands and everything in between, the Plunkett Foundation’s small in-house team and network of advisers across the UK provide a helping hand to support groups from their first tentative steps, and continues to be there for them, year after year, as the business develops and grows.
The Circle is a multi-award winning ‘More Than Profit’ social enterprise operating in Dundee and Glasgow, founded to create and contribute towards vibrant and sustainable communities and providing affordable consultancy, training and workspaces. We are a hub for charities, social enterprises, commercial organisations, creatives, community groups, individuals, and socially aware businesses. We provide advice, support and training in all areas, including accessing funding, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, governance, and strategic planning.
We can provide one off spaces for meetings and temporary projects as well as longer term spaces for start-ups or organisations looking for co-working environments. Spaces are available across Staffa Place, Dundee and Easterhouse, Glasgow.
Our consultancy services provide you with advice and support on a range of topics from determining the legal structure of your organisation to writing grant applications. Our experienced consultancy team bring a range of skills and practical knowledge to their roles.
The Circle Academy is a practical and educational training programme for people interested in running ‘More Than Profit’ businesses. The programme is open for applications all year round and available to anyone wanting to create positive, social or environmental change in a sustainable and commercially viable way. Find out more.
Highland Good Food Partnership is an initiative driven by local people who are passionate about creating a sustainable, local food system. Community food projects are one of our main areas of work; supporting projects with a social focus including allotments, food banks, community growing and community markets. When setting up a land based food initiative, access to land, access to funding and support with governance can be challenging and our Community Food group has the expertise to guide you through the process.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. The AHF exists to help communities and other not for private profit organisations find enterprising ways to revitalise the old buildings they love. We help with advice, grants and loans. Our support acts as a catalyst for putting sustainable heritage at the heart of vibrant local economies. For over 40 years, we’ve been the leading social investor in creating new futures for historic buildings.
Project Viability & Development Grants
With support from Historic Environment Scotland, Project Viability Grants are to fund initial studies to look at potential new uses for a building and at its current condition, usually resulting in a Viability Report produced to a standard template. Project Development Grants help add detail to outline plans, assisting in getting projects to the point that they can apply to larger capital funders. It can fund professional fees or capacity building for organisations.
With support from the William Grant Foundation, projects in Scotland may be eligible for the TSF. Projects applying are generally characterised by a community-led ethos, a desire to give new purpose to a building valued locally for its architectural heritage and plans that demonstrate strong social, economic or environmental benefits that meet local need. Projects that don’t fit well in other funding streams are particularly welcome to enquire and apply.
We can also support projects through loan finance, offering flexible and competitive terms to provide greater assistance to projects that will deliver local economic and community impact, as well as providing sustainable use of a historic building for future generations.
What is eligible for the Social Investment Programme?
Loan finance can be used for building acquisition, plugging a short-term funding gap, for working capital during a project delivery phase or to support further growth of a social enterprise or other community business based in a historic building. Contact Asha Karbhari to discuss any queries.
The Melting Pot develops initiatives that stimulate and support social innovation, harnessing the power to ignite and effect social change by connecting people and supporting their ideas, passions and expertise. In turn, we help Scotland fulfil its economic, social, cultural and environmental potential. Our doors first opened in October 2007, after several years of development by a grassroots group of like-minded folk in Edinburgh.
Good Ideas is a free incubation programme that helps people turn their good ideas into change, supporting them to realise their vision in the form of social enterprises, charities and campaigns. Making an idea happen can be a daunting prospect and exploring new ideas is challenging – we’re here to help people test their ideas and make change happen.
Consultancy Services & Products
We share our 18 years’ experience of supporting and stimulating social innovation via our consultancy services and products. Whether you’re setting up a new coworking space, building a community at your existing hub, or wanting to run a social business incubation programme like Good Ideas, we can help! Find out more about our coaching, training and Etools here.
Calton Road Coworking Hub & Venue Hire
After leaving our previous spot on Rose Street and using research from the Future of the Office report, we secured three floors of space (previously used by Foundation Scotland) right next to Edinburgh Waverley. As well as regular coworking memberships and one-off hotdesk facilities, we have meeting rooms and event space to hire. Find out more here.
Scotland’s Towns Partnership is Scotland’s national towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them. Our role is to act as a hub for relevant news & resources, knowledge and good practice, to support learning and community through our events, to influence and share policies that impact towns and to raise the profile of Scottish towns.