Glasgow Caledonian University is to host a national archive capturing Scotland’s social enterprise story after securing £90,000 of government funding.
Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collection will be open to all members of the public and will chronicle the history of the thriving sector.
Figures show there are now more than 5000 social enterprises operating in Scotland, with 64% being led by women.
The Scottish Government has a 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy aimed at supporting and businesses that reinvest their profits to address social change in areas such as homelessness, unemployment, inequality, and climate change.
The Collection will expand on the existing archive of work by the late John Pearce, viewed as one of the most influential figures in community enterprise in the UK.
Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, said: “With so much happening across Scotland and given the vibrancy of this sector it is vital that this story is probably captured, understood and shared for the benefit of all.
“That’s why I am delighted to announce the Scottish Government will provide £90,000 to the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, named in honour of the Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, to help establish Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collection.”
Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise and Co-Director of the Yunus Centre, said: “Glasgow Caledonian University’s Special Collections and the Yunus Centre are both delighted and honoured to accept this award.
“The plans we have developed with Scottish Government are exciting not only in terms of ensuring Scotland’s social enterprise story is preserved but also because the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland) and the pioneering work of John Pearce can be further developed and opened up for use by historians and other academics, practitioners and policy-makers and, indeed, communities and individual members of the public.
“This will be a living resource, open to all.”
Carole McCallum, GCU's archivist, said: “I’m thrilled and delighted with the news. We will be working in partnership with the Yunus Centre, and we will now be able to recruit a part-time archivist to catalogue the collection. The archivist will also go out and actively seek new material to build the collection within the archive. The real legacy of this project will be the creation of a comprehensive collection based here at GCU which will endure for the future.”
The announcement coincided with the start of the 2018 Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, which runs from September 12 to 14.