Social Enterprise in the Highlands and Islands
There are more than 1200 Social Enterprises in the Highlands and Islands, all with a social purpose at their heart. Across the region, social enterprises own and manage land (including whole islands), harness renewable energy technologies, create employment, undertake infrastructure projects, and provide an increasingly diverse range of essential services.
Schools across the Highlands and Islands are busy setting up their own pupil-led social enterprises and whole school communities are getting involved! Young people of all ages and abilities within our rural communities are stepping up through their business activities and making real change happen, while developing valuable skills that will carry them into the future world of work.
Rachel Farmer, our Education Manager, and Rachael Forbes, our Programme Co-ordinator, are busy supporting local authorities and headteachers to provide CPD and meaningful learning experiences for young people situated in rural and urban regions in the north. This month saw the launch of a new partnership with Highland Council as part of My Future My Success and our facilitators were invited to deliver workshops to young people in Alness Academy and Invergordon Academy. A Dragons’ Den event will provide them with the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel and win seed funding provided by the Pat Munro Foundation and Shawcor Ltd! They’ll tour a social enterprise when they visit ILM (Highland) and discover how a business benefits the community.
We’re now back on the road and during the next few months, we’ll be travelling to Orkney and Shetland with our offer for teachers and pupils to get to know more about Social Enterprise Schools. We’ll also be offering young social entrepreneurs across Argyll and Bute and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar support with our Gaelic workshop and resources.
If you would like us to bring our workshop to your school, just drop Rachel a line :