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£7 million for third sector
Scotland's third sector has been given a 'massive boost' with the launch of two new programmes to help enterprising organisations grow and operate more efficiently.
The £3 million Just Enterprise programme will deliver a wide range of business support to social entrepreneurs and third sector organisations across Scotland. It will lead to the creation of an online hub where organisations can go for support and assistance.
A further £4 million pounds will be provided through the Enterprise Growth Fund. This will see grants of between £25,000 and £200,000 awarded to enterprising third sector organisations with the most sustainable and ambitious business plans.
Finance Secretary John Swinney launched the programmes today at the offices of Speacialisterne in Glasgow. The social enterprise, which trains people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, is building the online access point for both programmes.
Mr Swinney said:
"Social enterprises, voluntary organisations and community organisations play an important part in Scottish society. They can deliver superb services, from creating employment opportunities to connecting with most the vulnerable people in our society.
"These two new programmes will work closely together to make sure that the organisations we fund benefit from appropriate business support.
"This complements the help available from economic development agencies in Scotland such as Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Business Gateway.
"By investing in the third sector now and enhancing self sufficiency we can look forward to a future where these organisations play a full role in public sector reform."
Jim McFarlane, managing director of Operations, Scottish Enterprise said:
"The new programmes announced today will complement the services we, and our partners, currently provide to growing social enterprises.
"By encouraging and supporting the third sector, we can develop this part of our economy and strengthen Scotland's economic future."
Duncan Thorp, Parliamentary from the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition said:
"The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition welcomes Just Enterprise, a new integrated service to support fresh and growing social enterprises across Scotland. The contract will help support our ambitious social enterprise entrepreneurs to build a stronger sector, delivering greater social and economic benefit for everyone.
"We are also pleased about the new Enterprise Growth Fund, a much needed boost for organisations that demonstrate potential for growth and sustainability. Social enterprise is certainly a vital tool in designing and delivering better public services, as we embark on a reform agenda."
Councillor Alison Hay, COSLA Spokesperson on Regeneration and Sustainable Development said:
"Business Gateway welcomes the introduction of Just Enterprise as a specialist advisory service for Scotland's Third Sector and we look forward to a productive relationship benefitting Scotland's economy.
"Just Enterprise will provide a vital first step to those looking to set up or develop a social enterprise by assessing their specific needs. Where appropriate, Business Gateway will provide further access to mainstream business development advice through its programme of business skills events, business information and Scotland wide network of expert business advisers."
Both these contracts have been subject to an open procurement process. In both cases third sector consortiums have won the business.
For 2011 -12, The £4 million Enterprise Growth Fund will provide grants of £25,000 - £200,000 to third sector organisations to help ensure their long term sustainability, by developing their organisational structures and/or sustainable income streams.
The £300,000 contract has been awarded to a Consortium led by the Wise Group in partnership with Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEiS), Developing Strathclyde Ltd (DSL) and Think! Research.
The £3 million contract for third sector business support for 2011-14 has been awarded to the Just Enterprise consortium headed by CEiS (Community Enterprise in Scotland). HIE are a funding partner providing 10 per cent of the funding for the contract.
Just Enterprise complements the economic development infrastructures in Scotland - Scottish Enterprise, HIE, Business Gateway and Third Sector Interfaces.
HIE are match funders of Just Enterprise -providing 10 per cent of the funding.
Just Enterprise will see uniform delivery of Business support services to all sections of the third sector.