Scotland's social enterprise support agency is expanding to meet growing demand for its services
Scotland’s social enterprise support agency Firstport has announced it is launching its own social enterprise.
The organisation has plans to expand to help meet growing demand for its services from a Scottish public increasingly interested in social enterprise.
It is to invest in new staff and technology, and next month will launch its own business arm to help generate income.
In 2018, Firstport supported 1,135 social enterprise ideas and gave out just under £1 million in seed funding. Six new businesses in its accelerator programme raised an additaional £653,000 of investment.
Josiah Lockhart, chief executive of Firstport, said: “It is an exciting time for social enterprise as it is no longer confined to the fringes of the business sector or the economy but is increasingly seen as a vital partner in creating a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive Scotland.
“Our experience, backed up with data from our programmes, shows that demand for our services is growing and the makeup of Scottish social entrepreneurs is evolving, which requires a style shift in how we engage with and support entrepreneurs driven by a desire to generate social impact.
“We want to give these individuals the best possible start in their journey and our new strategy will set us on the right path to do just that.”
Well-known social enterprises that have received support from Firstport over the years include Glasgow Locavore, Scotland’s first social enterprise supermarket, sandwich shop chain Social Bite and Hey Girls, a social enterprise which uses a buy-one-give-one model to fight period poverty in the UK.