Council consults on Social Enterprise Strategy for the Highlands

A draft Social Enterprise Strategy for the Highlands covering the years 2014-2017 has been published for consultation by the Council and all interested parties are being asked to take part and help shape the future of this sector.

The strategy sets out the Council’s understanding of the social enterprise sector, the benefits it brings and the challenges it faces as well as outlining its vision towards the development of a more vibrant and sustainable social enterprise community in the Highlands.

In Highland there are over 200 social enterprises and their main activities undertaken are:

• Arts and culture
• Economic and rural development
• Learning and training
• Hospitality and tourism
• Social care
• Retailing

In the Working Together for the Highlands Programme, the Council has a commitment to work with partners to produce a social enterprise strategy. The consultation document covers the outline for the council’s strategy and invites those active within or who support the sector or wider third sector to put across their views by asking a series of questions.

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “Social enterprises are not in it just to make a profit, they foster social and environmental innovation, they are ethical in their motivations, and they are accountable to their employees, consumers and communities.

“There are many brilliant examples in the area already and they are a natural fit with the way we want to do things here. We want to build on these achievements and help foster a more supportive environment in which social enterprise can flourish. This commitment reflects the strong tradition of social enterprise activity and the pioneering spirit and confidence that exists in the Highlands.

“We believe that this strategy will be important in realising the full potential of social enterprise and entrepreneurship across the whole area so I encourage anyone interested in Social Enterprise to provide their comments by responding to a prepared set of questions in our survey.”

The consultation report and questionnaire are now available on the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk, found in the “Have Your Say” box on the homepage.  

During the consultation period the Council will also be holding targeted workshops and meetings with sector representatives to gather opinions which will help the Council make decisions about the way forward.
The findings of the consultation will be brought to the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee.

ENDS

3 Mar 2014
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