marketSocial enterprises are businesses that exist for a social purpose. They need to make a profit to survive and grow, but rather than do this in a competitive way, purely for the benefit of owners or shareholders, these enterprises re-invest profit to meet wider social and environmental aims.

There are many different types of social enterprises in the world today. Co-operatives are one of the oldest forms and have been in existence since the eighteenth century. In Scotland the Government recognises the contribution these businesses can make to social, economic, and environmental well-being and seeks to support their development.