1400 international social enterprise leaders converge on Edinburgh for Social Enterprise World Forum

More than 1400 international social enterprise leaders, entrepreneurs, young people, academics and policy makers have arrived in Edinburgh for the biggest event in the world for businesses with a social purpose.

The Social Enterprise World Forum is the key place to meet the people changing the world through business across multiple sectors from technology, finance, investment and energy production, to private housing provision and consumer goods and services.

Taking place at the EICC in Edinburgh from September 12 – 14th, the event sold out in record time and has attracted people from 47 countries.

Creating an Inclusive Economy

Scotland’s social enterprises employ over 80,000 FTE people, and have a net worth of £5 billion contributing £2 billion GVA to Scotland’s economy – it’s a growing, important and vibrant part of what Scotland has to offer.

Social enterprises in the UK vastly outperform other sectors in gender balance, female leadership, pay differentials and inclusion of people classed as disadvantaged in the workforce.

After several years of strategic support, the Scottish Government has now included social enterprise in its new programme for government for the first time.

Scotland is a World Leader

Over 60% of attendees are from oversees and attendees are anticipating both a celebratory reflection on the 10 years since it was last in Scotland as the first event of its kind, and an opportunity to create a vision for the next 10 years of developing an inclusive economy.

Scotland is seen as a world leader in social enterprise and people want to meet its enterprises and understand the policy environment. They will see the progress made around the world and also draw inspiration from the substantial growth in social enterprise in Scotland and their partnerships with the private sector, and strategic support from government.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“I am delighted that Scotland is welcoming more than 1,400 delegates from around the world to the Social Enterprise World Forum 2018.  This international event has its roots in Scotland, with the first ever event taking place in Edinburgh ten years ago. Scotland’s support system for social enterprise, developed over this decade, is now considered world-leading.

“In order to create a lasting legacy, I am pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government will provide £90,000 to Glasgow Caledonian University to build on its existing archive materials and establish Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collections.”

Social / Corporate Partnerships

World leading businesses are speaking at, sponsoring and attending SEWF including SAP, Johnson & Johnson, PwC and Royal Bank of Scotland. They see the value, potential and business benefits of working with social enterprises across their operations and represent just some of the businesses that have redeveloped their supply chains and in some cases, their business models, to maximise those benefits.

SAP, a world leader in technology and business development is set to announce a 3 year global partnership with SEWF in line with its commitment to enabling…

Business for the Millennial Generation

SEWF is hosting a Young Talent Programme for eighty 16-24 year olds in conjunction with leading social enterprises and corporate businesses. They represent a generation that wants to see more than financial value in the work they do, whatever their interest and skills. Multiple studies and reports [reference?] have shown that businesses of the future need to offer more to attract and retain talent, and social enterprise offers both opportunity and diversity to meet the changing expectations of the workforce.

Business at the Cutting Edge

At SEWF we are privileged to welcome pioneering, disruptive and innovative enterprises including Hey Girl, Yashranga and Solar Ear, addressing poverty and inequality through sustainable, enterprising business models. These businesses are paving the way for a fairer, more diverse, and more hopeful future where purpose lives alongside profit as an equal goal.

Gerry Higgins, Director of the Social Enterprise World Forum said, “One of the features that attracts people to social enterprise is the range of amazing businesses that are changing lives around the world. Innovation isn’t the preserve of the commercial sector, social enterprises are emerging across a wide range of economic sectors and markets and creating impressive social and environmental impact through their products and services. This is a fast growing, resilient and exciting sector, attracting young people and commercial professionals while reducing inequality.”

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