The social economy is formed by a rich diversity of enterprises and organisations, such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises and voluntary and community organisations that take an enterprising approach to creating social impact.
Social Enterprise Support
TSIs support social enterprises in the same way they support other voluntary and community organisations – advising on areas of organisational development, identifying funding, appropriate governance structures and opportunities for training for staff.
Where local social enterprises have identified the value in coming together, the TSIs will offer local Social Enterprise Networks. TSIs can also connect local social enterprises to specialised support from a wide range of national organisations.
In Dundee the Dundee Social Enterprise Network brings together social enterprises to support, promote, develop and represent social enterprises in the city. A social enterprise network works to open up local markets to social enterprises and to enable social enterprises to be ‘contract ready’ or to competitively bid for contracts as part of supply chains.
Local Community Economic Development
Developing an enterprising culture for the voluntary and community sector is one of the key ways to make our sector sustainable. Making sure that the voluntary and community sector both contribute to and benefit from local level economic development will be a key aspect of developing the sector in the future.
TSIs are working to ensure that our sector is included in discussions regarding City-Region deals, Island plans and other similar ‘economic deals’. We’re also working on developing the concepts of community economic development that brings together community development principles with economic development to make sure that future economic improvements are fairly spread and benefit all communities.
Social Finance Organisations
Supporting social finance organisations – cooperatives, credit unions, community banks and others – is a key way to making low cost finance accessible and to help tackle poverty.
Engage Renfrewshire have hosted a Credit Union Officer post within their Community and Voluntary Action Team. The Officer has worked to raise awareness of local credit unions across Renfrewshire and to help credit unions to network together. Since the project began in 2016, over 3,000 more people have joined a local credit union in Renfrewshire.