New initiative set to help Scottish social enterprises pitch to large organisations
The Buy Social Purchase Power matchmaking project by Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and Social Enterprise Scotland is the latest offering from ethical gift director Buy Social Scotland, with participants pairing up with purchasers from several major corporates and public bodies such as construction firm Wates Group, Historic Environment Scotland, Assembly Festival, and eBay.
It is expected that this will open up access to commercial opportunities to win contracts to supply contracts and services, while it builds on SIS’s Retail Bootcamp initiative that took place earlier this year and is credited with having enabled social enterprise Pride Outside, focused on LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion training, to secure new high-value training contracts.
Throughout the programme, aspiring social entrepreneurs will also have the chance to hear from a number of high-profile entrepreneurs including Ynzo van Zanten, former “choco evangelist” at Dutch impact brand Tony’s Chocolonely.
Social enterprises with products, services, or experiences to sell are being invited to join the free initiative, with the first of three monthly workshops kicking off on November 15. The programme culminates with a final bootcamp and day of matchmaking with buyers in February 2024.
Kieran Daly, head of market building at alternative finance provider SIS, said: “Purchase Power is designed to support social enterprises in supplying their products and services within public and private sector supply chains. We believe that the opportunities for social enterprises to influence both public and private sector supply chains is vast, enabling better business practices, and enabling them to reach their environmental and social and governance aims.”
Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said: "This is a great opportunity for social enterprises to polish their pitches and learn from established businesses in order to secure supply-chain opportunities.”
Sam Donaldson, chief procurement officer at Abrdn, said: “By engaging social enterprises, corporations can benefit local communities and include marginalised groups, helping them achieve their business and social impact goals. That is why at Abrdn we are committed to creating opportunities for social enterprises within our supply chain, and we encourage social enterprises to engage with corporations when opportunities emerge.”
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