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Scotland and China collaborate on social enterprise

Published: 10 Apr 2018 15:05

World leading expertise to support social entrepreneurs.

Specialist expertise from Scotland is to help grow and sustain social enterprises in China.

Social enterprise development organisation The Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) has launched a new partnership to serve social enterprises in China, supported by the Scottish Government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the Social Enterprise Academy in China on a visit to a traditional hutong (alleyway) in Beijing's old town.

Social enterprises reinvest their profits to create positive social change, promotiing economic growth that is inclusive. 

Examples in Scotland include the Grassmarket Community Project, Community Energy Scotland and Edinburgh Remakery.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"Scotland is a world-leading social enterprise nation in research, policy and practice, so it is great news that the Social Enterprise Academy will now be supporting social enterprises in China.

"It is further evidence that Scotland is an outwardly facing and enterprising nation, keen to share its knowledge, build new trading links and demonstrate how businesses can provide social and environmental, as well as economic, benefit."

Sam Baumber, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Academy International CIC, said:

"People in communities around the world are stepping up to tackle social and environmental issues with sustainable business models. As they face new challenges, these people and their teams need sustained support. We are delighted to be launching SEA China as part of China's emerging support ecosystem for social enterprise and social investment.

"The academy is innovating as a social enterprise itself, sharing its local model on an international level. Supported by Scottish Government and building on the work of British Council, the Academy was able to find an excellent partner to lead SEA China. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do together."

Jufang Zhang, CEO of the Capacity Building & Assessment Center, and now also SEA China, based in Beijing, said:

"We're excited to be joining the SEA international network to promote learning between Scotland and China's social entrepreneurs. This will be a truly great collaboration."

The Social Enterprise Academy, based in Edinburgh, provides leadership and entrepreneurship development programmes for social enterprises and young people. Its core aim is to help individuals use their own strengths to build sustainable enterprises and achieve greater social impact. 

The most recent Social Enterprise Academy was launched with the creation of SEA India during the Deputy First Ministers visit there earlier this year. 

Serving social enterprises in communities across Scotland since 2004, the Social Enterprise Academy is now operated by local partners in ten countries worldwide including Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Malawi.