Inclusion and Diversity

Celebrating social enterprises this LGBTQ+ History Month

February is LGBTQ+ History Month. This month we are highlighting four LGBTQ+ organisations making a difference through their social enterprises.

LGBTQ+ History Month is a time to reflect on the enormous achievements made by the LGBTQ+ community. While progress has been made, it’s essential to acknowledge that society still has a long way to go and that we need to listen to the LGBTQ+ community for the world to become more inclusive.

We include ourselves in this conversation. We strive to be an inclusive and non-judgmental organisation as we continue to learn from the LGBTQ+ community about how we can remove barriers and support them through our services.

Over the years, we have supported several fantastic organisations using social enterprise to create a brighter future for the LGBTQ+ community. This month, we want to highlight the work of some of these organisations, and we highly recommend following them on their websites and social media accounts to keep up to date with their latest initiatives.

Image of rainbow triangles in the window of Kaleidoscope Counselling

Invisible Cities has been around since 2016, training people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city, offering these alternative tours to tourists and locals. Invisible Cities started in Scotland covering Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Borders. They have since expanded their excursions across the UK to places including Manchester, York and Cardiff. We supported Invisible Cities through our LaunchMe programme and Third Sector Resilience Fund. They run a fascinating Edinburgh Queer History tour. This tour allows you to ‘travel together through history and give life to the history of queer rights and love right up to the present.’ The Edinburgh Queer History tour is led by Dakota a non-binary queer person, who offers a flexible timetable, organising the tour at a time that is suitable to you. Follow Invisible Cities on Facebook, Instagram and on X (Twitter) to keep up with their latest tours.

Image from above of someone at Kaleidoscope Counselling

Kaleidoscope Counselling CIC provides informed, affirmative, and accessible counselling to gender and sexual diverse individuals in Scotland. They offer their services to members of the LGBTQ+ community, aged 12 and up. Kaleidoscope Counselling CIC have found that across mental health issues, those who identify as LGBTQ+ are consistently overrepresented and often feel unable to access the support they need. Through their counselling services, they aim to create lasting improvements to emotional well-being for the LGBTQ+ community. As well as receiving start-up business support from us, they were successful in both Start It and Build It. Their services have continued to thrive, and we recently shared more about their successes in our latest case study. You can also follow their FacebookInstagram and Twitter (X) to find out the most up-to-date news from them.

Pride Outside CIC is an award-winning Glasgow-based social enterprise. They run a free LGBTQ+ well-being programme which includes their yearly Wellbeing Festival. Pride Outside CIC improves the well-being of over 1,000 LGBTQ+ people every year. It focuses on the use of nature in well-being for the LGBTQ+ community. Alongside their annual festival, they run other events and courses including How to be a Visibly LGBTQ+ Inclusive Organisation, a Trans & Non-Binary Wellbeing Gathering & Fire, and a six-week course Befriending Your Anxiety. They also offer training for organisations to improve their inclusive practices, focusing on the importance and understanding of LGBTQ+ issues. Pride Outside CIC have received both Start It and Build It funding. Check out their Facebook and Instagram for their latest well-being tips and events.

Image of Wild and Kind

Wild and Kind CIC are also a Glasgow-based social enterprise. Their focus is on minimising isolation and loneliness for people with marginalised gender identities. The profits made from ethical merchandise sales fund workshops, meet-ups, and community events for women and those out with the gender binary. We initially spoke to Trudi from Wild and Kind in May 2020, after Wild & Kind had received both Start It and Build It from Firstport. Since then, we have continued to work with Wild and Kind CIC extensively. They were awarded investment from Boost It and Catalyst Fund, and have had LaunchMe support. They recently announced that after a difficult time, they will be winding down their production services to focus back on social impact again. They have described this as the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for them to continue making a difference in Scotland. Have a look at their Facebook and Instagram pages to keep an eye on what their next move is.

If you are an LGBTQ+ organisation who is looking for support starting a social enterprise, email us at info@firstport.org.uk, we are always happy to hear from you.