Social Firms Scotland 15th Anniversary

Posted in: Events

Social Firms Scotland (SFS), one of Ready for Business founding partners, celebrated their 15th Anniversary on 24 November in the splendour of Oran Mor in Glasgow.  CEO, Pauline Graham, addressed a packed house, charting their journey in supporting the development of Social Firms over the past 15 years.  The sector, she said, has grown substantially over that time. Quoting the recent Social Enterprise Census, Pauline highlighted that the number of Social Firms and Work Integration Social Enterprises has gone from 5 identified in 2000 to over 500 today.


To mark the occasion, SFS commissioned Social Value Lab to produce an Impact Report (PDF) for them, based on an independent survey of SFS members, partners, funders and other stakeholders.  The Impact Report was launched at the event, giving a very favourable report card for Social Firms Scotland.

Alongside a number of front line Social Firms sharing their stories, the keynote address was delivered by Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights. The Minister sent out a very clear, strong message about how the role of social firms is even more important given the challenges facing the country and he emphasised the significant contribution that social firms make to the employment and employability agenda.

Mr Neil said,

Congratulations to Social Firms Scotland for reaching this important milestone. The 15th anniversary report showcases the positive results of Social Firms Scotland’s Impact Survey and highlights its success championing social firms across the country.

 Social firms are a vital and growing part of the social enterprise sector, with 501 social firms identified in the recent Social Enterprise Census. The Scottish Government highly values their contribution to the economy and third sector, and particularly the support they provide to those who, for whatever reason, have difficulty accessing employment.

 We look forward to continuing to work with Social Firms Scotland in the years to come and building on these strong foundations to deliver a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.”

Another Ready or Business partner, David Fogg from KPMG, spoke about the effective working partnership formed with SFS and how sharing and learning from one other has been critical to effective delivery of the Developing Markets for Third Sector Programme, in particular their work in supporting Public Social Partnerships in Scotland.

Download the SFS Impact Report here (PDF).