Free enterprising support for Dumfries and Galloway’s third sector

SOCIAL Investment Scotland (SIS) has launched a free programme tailor-made for social enterprises and community organisations throughout the South of Scotland to support and inspire them in developing enterprising activities – with the first workshops for Dumfries and Galloway now in place.

The new South of Scotland Social Enterprise Support Programme will be delivered by SIS, on behalf of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP), which has been set up to address the economic challenges of the area and to drive inclusive growth.

The programme will bring together local and national organisations across the region to enhance enterprising activities in the area. Social Investment Scotland will lead the workshops along with Firstport Scotland’s national support agency for early stage social enterprises.  There is a range of events suitable for individuals, employees, managers and board members of community groups, social enterprises and charities.

Running until March 2020, the programme comprises of workshops and business support designed to suit organisations at different stages of their enterprise journey. The programme includes:

  • Introduction to Enterprise Workshops
  • Understanding Social Investment Workshops
  • Sell Social Masterclasses
  • Ambitions Business Support

Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “We are delighted to launch the South of Scotland Programme, which has been specifically designed to help meet the needs of local organisations, while at the same time supporting the region’s economic objectives. There are over 400 social enterprises in the region, and we are well aware of the breadth of excellent enterprising initiatives taking place in these communities. Hopefully our programme can help and inspire even more organisations, social entrepreneurs and charities to reach their enterprising potential.”

One local organisation, The Food Train, has already benefitted from support and investment from Social Investment Scotland. The Food Train, which launched in 1995, assists older people with essential tasks like grocery shopping, meal provision, befriending and household support.

Since securing investment and guidance from SIS in 2013, the organisation has expanded and now operates in seven regions across Scotland from its base in Dumfries and Galloway.  While its meal sharing project, Meal Makers, is now available throughout Scotland and new licencing partnerships have been secured in England & Wales.

Michelle Carruthers MBE, Chief Executive of The Food Train: “The added bonus of financial investment from Social Investment Scotland was the business support available.  Training, tips and guides on how to improve our sustainability at every stage of our growth journey has been invaluable.  The business support from SIS came at a vital time and gave us the boost we needed to take the next leap in expanding our services to support many older people to eat well and live well at home.”

Representing SOSEP, Professor Russell Griggs OBE: “There is a huge amount of work taking place in the Partnership to support and develop projects which will deliver long-term social and economic benefits. The start of the South of Scotland Enterprise Support Programme is one of these projects, which will aim to help a wide range of groups, from individuals to employees and managers to community groups, social enterprises and charities.

“In line with our key priorities, it will aim to provide better opportunities for training and supporting communities in the south of Scotland.”

For more information on the South of Scotland Social Enterprise Support Programme including course dates and locations of workshops please visit and register your interest www.socialinvestmentscotland.com/support/south-of-scotland-programme/.