What is your story?

Your social enterprise story starts with the initial idea and the people who set it in motion to become reality. Who were these people and when did this happen?  These first questions lay the foundations and you can build on it from there:

  • Why did they set it up?
  • What funding made it possible?
  • Where was it set up?
  • What stages did they go through to get started?
  • Who helped them do it?

The story then follows the organisation’s journey in finding its feet and making changes in order to grow.

  • What activities were carried out and by who?
  • What partnerships were formed?
  • How did the organisation change over time?
  • Who did it help along the way?
  • What additional funding was granted?
  • What were its highs and lows?

Like every good story, yours will have highs and lows and it is good to share the successes as well as the more challenging times.

Heritage half hour

Archivist's example

Community Business Scotland Network

Community Business Scotland Network (CBSN) was set up in 1981 to encourage and support community businesses. Look at the CBSN timeline to see some of the stages from its story.

Activity A1

Writing down your story

This activity will help you to write down the main points of your organisation’s story and answer some of the questions raised in the text above.

Open the Activity booklet and click on Activity A1.

Jargon buster

Histories are provided in an archive catalogue to give people a bit of background to help them better understand the materials in the collection.

biographical history provides an overview of a person’s story and is used for collections where material has been accumulated through the personal, educational, and professional activities of that individual.

An administrative history provides an overview of an organisation’s story and is used for collections where material has been accumulated through the activities of an organisation by people carrying out their role within it.

Find out more about these and other terms in the Jargon buster.