The Scottish government has announced a £27,000 grant to support the creation of a digital hub aimed at supporting social enterprise in rural areas of the country.
The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will be based in Campbeltown and will build on knowledge from European partners and establish a digital network for rural social enterprises to share experiences.
In addition, the government has made 17 grants totalling £1m to support the growth of grassroots social enterprises. The funding is going to a range of projects including the Brand for Growth programme, which helps social enterprises to develop and grow their brand to increase customers and trade opportunities, and LaunchMe: an accelerator programme that offers social entrepreneurs support in raising private investment.
Announcing the funding at the launch of the hub, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“Social enterprises are a vital part of our community and economy. They have a distinctive character and often play a role in preserving vital services such as community shops and transport, and creating employment opportunities.
“The Rural Social Enterprise Hub will bring benefits to the local community and surrounding area in Campbeltown and share knowledge and best practice in social enterprise, both across Scotland and internationally.”
Ailsa Clark, Development Manager for the hub said:
“This funding will give us the opportunity to learn from the rural experience to inform policy and better understand opportunities to use digital tools to connect rural social enterprises.
“This launch recognises the significance of social enterprise in the rural context – with 34% of all Scotland’s social enterprises in rural areas but only 18% of the population, there is much to be learned.”
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