2nd John Pearce Memorial Lecture 2016

‌Social Firms Scotland Chief Executive Officer Pauline Graham highlighted Scotland’s enthusiasm for social enterprise as she delivered the 2016 John Pearce Memorial Lecture.

Professor Pamela Gillies, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor CBE FRSE welcomed guests and Professor Cam Donaldson, Director of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at GCU, introduced the lecture held in memory of John Pearce, a founding figure in social enterprise.

Pauline, a GCU graduate, cited entrepreneurship and community action as the key reasons behind Scotland’s burgeoning social enterprise sector. She also considered Scotland’s position in internationalising social enterprise and discussed the key challenges facing the sector.

Pauline said: “It feels for the first time like we’ve got a really good story to tell. For such a small country, our infrastructure and support for social enterprise is really apparent.”  

She said that the forthcoming launch of Social Firms Scotland’s ten year strategy for the sector in November would support and reflect the values of social firms in Scotland.

John Pearce played a pivotal role in Scotland’s community business movement, the precursor to social enterprise. Before his death in 2011, he donated his collection of papers to the GCU archives, which have now been developed into the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland).

GCU Archivist Carole McCallum provided an update on the collection, which has been developed into a series of interviews capturing the memories of Scots involved in the early social enterprise movement.