Scotland and India team up to support social enterprises

The Social Enterprise Academy, founded in Scotland, has launched its first base in India with support from the Scottish Government.

Deputy first minister John Swinney formally declared the Social Enterprise Academy India, which is based in Mumbai, open at a ceremony at the start of this month.

Swinney said: “With over a decade of experience in developing social enterprise in Scotland, it is our responsibility as a good global citizen to share what we have learned.

“Examples such as Brewgooder show the success our approach is having. In fact, Scotland is now considered a world leader in the support and development of social enterprise. 

“Taking this approach to India, where the growth of social enterprise has been rapid over the last few years, brings mutual benefit to both countries.

“Knowing the potential that social enterprises have to empower and transform communities, this is an investment in the future of India. But also, with the very different challenges faced by Indian social entrepreneurs, there is much Scotland can learn in return.”

As well as supporting the launch of the Social Enterprise Academy India, the Scottish Government has provided £40,000 to fund the Scotland:India Impact Link, which is an initiative that provides Indian social entrepreneurs with mentoring and financial support, as well as matching social entrepreneurs in India with counterparts in Scotland.

The Social Enterprise Academy, based in Edinburgh, now operates in 10 countries worldwide including Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Malawi.

Managing director of Social Enterprise Academy International CIC, Sam Baumber, said: “If we’re going to tackle the world’s social and environmental problems, we need to work together. Scotland’s social enterprise sector is keen to offer its experience to support India’s social enterprises, who also face challenges Scotland’s social entrepreneurs have not had to contend with. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can do together!

“We’re learning by doing, just like any enterprise. We will pilot this first year, learn and adapt to serve India’s social entrepreneurs.”

This recent announcement is part of the Scottish Government’s wider commitment to social enterprise. In 2016, it published a 10-year social enterprise strategy, co-produced with Scotland’s social enterprise sector.