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About Us

The Social Enterprise Chamber was founded in 2005 to provide a collective voice and focal point for the development of social enterprise in the Scottish Borders, we offer a variety of services to help our members develop and grow.

What is Social Enterprise?

Social enterprise is about using business methods for good causes. A social enterprise is a community business which does not distribute profits/surpluses to individuals and instead directs them to further their social aims.

For example, a social enterprise may be established to provide services like a village shop where they would not be commercially viable if run privately for profit, but would be viable if run with help from volunteers and only aiming to make enough profit as is needed to keep the business sustainable, rather than provide large dividends to shareholders.

Communities can be geographical or of common interest, such as groups with disabilities, young people or older people.

To be a social enterprise the organisation must:

  • be a trading business aspiring to financial independence
  • have social and/or environmental benefit as its primary objective
  • be ‘asset locked’ in that its constitution requires that its profits are reinvested in the organisation or in the beneficiary community and that on dissolution its assets are transferred to another asset locked organisation,
  • not be a public body or the subsidiary of a public authority

What We Do

We help the Scottish Government meet its national outcome ‘that social enterprise develops and grows’ in three main ways:

Acting as a voice for social enterprise: promoting the concept and use of social enterprise and public social partnerships; representing the views of Borders' social enterprises at a national level; working to resolve issues common to social enterprises in the Borders; sharing news from social enterprise members;

Individual support: providing one to one business support to social enterprises and aspiring social entrepreneurs (e.g. business planning, feasibility studies, legal structures, sources of finance, marketing); signposting members to organisations for specialist business support;

General support: providing regular networking meetings to provide general advice and updates on current affairs to those managing social enterprises in the Borders and allowing them to discuss their successes and seek peer support; providing regular training sessions on common issues including procurement, social return on investment and employment law.


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