Rural Social Enterprise Hub

Rural Social Enterprise Hub Objectives

The Rural Social Enterprise Hub work was launched in 2019 with support from the Scottish Government with the key objectives to:

  • Develop peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange opportunities both nationally and internationally
  • Provide a digital platform for, networking, peer-to-peer learning, case studies, learning materials and events.
  • Build understanding and knowledge of rural social enterprise and the unique characteristics that allow rural areas to develop enterprising solutions to the challenges they face.

Vital Statistics about Rural Social Enterprise in Scotland

  • 33% of all social enterprises in Scotland are in rural areas, with just 17% of the population.
  • Remote rural areas account for 20% of social enterprises in Scotland with just 6% of the population.
  • There are 23 social enterprises per 10,000 people in rural areas as compared to 9 in urban areas.
  • The average age of rural social enterprises is 25.6 years and median income is £26,600. (This compares to 21.2 years and an average income of £147,900 for urban social enterprises).
  • Rural social enterprises are more densely clustered and focus on solutions to unique rural challenges; community centres and halls, early learning and childcare, property, energy, utilities and land.
  • 37% of rural social enterprises report response to closure of local services as their reason for starting trading.

Rural SE Hub Activities

The Rural Social Enterprise Hub is the focal point for research and development activity on rural social enterprise in Scotland, Europe and further afield.

  • We run a Rural Social Enterprise Network which connects social and community enterprises from across rural Scotland, enabling them to share challenges, solutions and resources.
  • We facilitate community learning exchanges which provide opportunities for people to visit groups, organisations or communities in other areas in order to learn from the exchange of ideas and sharing of common solutions.
  • We create tools and resources based on learning from our various activities which highlights stories, studies and good practise from Scotland and abroad.
  • We compile policy papers and reports from a rural, national and international context.

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