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February 20, 2019

Map reading

Over the past decade or so, significant investment has come from Scottish Government in support of social enterprise and in that time a complex array of supporting infrastructure has evolved – all of it intended to help the sector grow. At times it’s been referred to as a ‘pipeline’ of support – inferring that an organisation should be able to pass along that pipeline, in a linear fashion, receiving whatever help they need. But in recent years, as the support on offer has expanded, this pipeline image has become outmoded. Drum roll, please…..introducing the Social Enterprise Eco-System Map.


The social enterprise sector in Scotland is a rich and varied landscape, so it’s often hard to know where to look to find the appropriate support, or even who does what.

That’s why Community Enterprise teamed up with social enterprise creative agency BOLD to produce the Social Enterprise Ecosystem, a comprehensive map of support, funding, information, mentoring and networking.

The Ecosystem is colour-coded for ease of navigation and has five distinct categories: Development, Finance, Learning, Networking, and Policy & Info.

 The map guides users towards relevant support agencies and funding avenues.


Around the edges of the Ecosystem are common entry points, designed to make reading and navigating the map an effective way for social entrepreneurs to determine their next move, depending on what stage their enterprise is at.

These common entry points include ‘an individual with an idea’, where the map guides the user towards support agencies such as Social Enterprise Academy (which delivers learning and development programmes) and business support agency Firstport (which offers startup funding and advice on business plans etc).

Other entry points include ‘sustain or grow your enterprise’, for those looking to increase capacity, and ‘winning contracts’ for those looking to take their first steps into the procurement process.

Click here to view and explore the ecosystem in full.