Social Enterprise Census 2019 results announced

September 4, 2019

The third bi-annual Social Enterprise in Scotland Census results have been announced at the Social Enterprise Policy & Practice Conference.

The study shows that the social enterprise sector in Scotland is growing at a consistent rate. Today there are an estimated 6,025 active social enterprises. This represents a 16% growth in numbers since 2015 and a net increase of 425 social enterprises in the last two years.

The social enterprise sector remains committed to diverse and ethical leadership and the proportion of women leading social enterprises (65%) is high and growing. This stands in contrast to the SME’s in Scotland where only 21% are led by women. Despite a decrease in the proportion of social enterprises led by women as the business turnover increases, the majority of leaders are female in all turnover segments measured by the Census.

The Census shows a consistent wage differential of 1:2.5 in all three years, 2015, 2017 and 2019, demonstrating that social enterprises are value-based workplaces embracing principles of fairness and equity. 75% of social enterprises pay their employees at least a living wage and this has steadily increased from 68% in 2015. This compares favorably with an estimated 70% of SME's in Scotland paying a living wage.

While the number of social enterprises in Scotland has grown by 8% in the past 2 years, the total economic contribution from social enterprises has grown by 13% with social enterprises contributing 2.3 billion in GVA.

Read the Key Facts

Read the full report