BLOG: New Just Enterprise Programme Launched to Support Social Enterprise

In October’s P4P blog, Zahra Hedges from Just Enterprise, discusses the launch of the new programme, which offers a range of fully funded business support to social enterprises and enterprising charities across Scotland.

My first experience of Just Enterprise was as a client, which makes my current role helping to promote it even more rewarding.

As the new programme was only recently launched, we were delighted to accept P4P’s invitation to write a blog post to answer some questions people might have about Just Enterprise and how they can benefit.

Watch this video to find out more.

What is Just Enterprise?

Just Enterprise is part of the support system for social enterprises in Scotland. We provide support across four key themes:

  • Pre-Start and Start Up
    • Whether you’ve just got the beginnings of an idea, or have already started exploring and developing it, we can help get your social enterprise off to a flying start through a combination of free one to one advice and group workshops.
  • Leadership
    • Your own experience has probably taught you the value of good leadership, so developing your skills in this area is crucial if you want to be able to lead your organisation effectively.
  • Strengthening your Organisation
    • Finance, Strategy, Business Planning – these are some of the building blocks that our team can help you to strengthen. Ensuring that your organisation is running effectively and efficiently allows you to be more sustainable and have more impact.
  • Growing your Organisation
    • Business is going well, you are pleased with your impact and keen to see what’s next. Our team can help you increase sales, develop your marketing, learn how to write tenders or even to prepare for social investment.

What kind of support?

Just Enterprise is flexible and can offer you a range of different kinds of support, depending on the programme area and your stage of development. These can include:

  • One to one advice from a business specialist
  • Up to 5 days one to one support from a business specialist
  • Workshops
  • Live Webinars Coming Soon
  • E-Learning Coming Soon
  • Resources Coming Soon
  • Case Studies Coming Soon

What’s new this time?

From our internal and external evaluations we know that people really value the workshops and one to one advice and support, so we are delighted to have kept these in the new programme.

We’ve also introduced more options for people who need more flexibility and will soon be launching online components including e-learning and webinars, and useful links and resources.

As well as looking at how we deliver support, we also reviewed what we are delivering and this year we are refreshing existing content and adding new topics including social impact measurement, digital marketing and internationalisation. We’ve always provided hands on support to social enterprises wishing to tender for public sector contracts, and now we’re delighted to be working with P4P so we can also support organisations that wish to come together to tender for contracts as a consortium or partnership.

Overall, we estimate about 40% of the programme is new or significantly different, so if you haven’t had support from us in a while please do get in touch.

What does it cost?

Mostly, nothing. The programme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government so we are able to keep participants’ costs as low as possible. The only area of the programme that has a charge is Leadership, where some of the longer programmes require a contribution from you or your employer.

Sounds great, am I eligible?

If you work or volunteer in the enterprising third sector you can apply for support. This will usually mean you are (or would like to be) a social enterprise, or charity that has (or aspires to have) some trading income but if you aren’t sure, please call us on 0300 302 3333.

Many third sector organisations use a mix of trading income and grant funding or donations. Our specialism is enterprise, so we do need to make sure all the one to one support we offer is designed to help you to start, develop or improve your ability to generate income from selling goods or services.

Is it difficult to apply?


While we do have to gather some information to process your booking and for reporting processes, we’ve worked really hard to keep things as short as we can and you can apply for most workshop places in just a few minutes.

For one to one support, we’ll ask you to fill in a short registration form and then call you back to discuss your fit for the programme. If we think there’s a good chance fit we’ll ask you to give us a little more information, but again, that shouldn’t take too long as we’ll have discussed most of it on the phone.

Our website is also accessible to people with different learning needs, and you can always phone on us on 0300 302 3333 or email if you have any questions.For more information on our processes click here.

How does it fit with what other support is available?

We’re lucky in Scotland to have so much support available for social enterprises and enterprising charities. Just Enterprise is not designed to duplicate any of that and we would always recommend that you contact your local Third Sector Interface or Social Enterprise Network to see how they can help you as well. You may also find that your local Business Gateway (especially Digital Boost) has useful material for you.

Our role is to provide you with targeted, one off support in a specific area of need, and that will vary depending on a number of factors including: your organisation’s size, scale, capacity and experience, where you are located, what business sector you are in, what your ambitions are, even what current challenges and opportunities you face.  

Why should I apply?

Feedback across all 8 years that we have been running is that Just Enterprise is consistently good, with reported benefits including

  • Increased or safeguarded turnover
  • Ability to explore and develop new markets
  • Ability to recruit more staff and volunteers
  • Increased confidence and skills
  • Winning new contracts
  • Clearer social purpose

And lots, lots more. You can read the full independent evaluation here.

Who is behind Just Enterprise?

Just Enterprise is a contract delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government and delivered by a consortium of third sector partners: CEIS, Impact Hub Inverness, Firstport, Social Enterprise Academy, Inspiralba, CEMVO, Forth Sector Development, Community Enterprise Ltd, Lanarkshire Enterprise Ltd and Social Value Lab. We also work very closely with P4P, Social Investment Scotland and SDI.

I also work with social enterprises, how can I get involved?

We would love for you to be able to recommend our programme to any of your clients who might benefit from it. You can visit our Stakeholders page where you can sign up for our mailing list, and see a list of upcoming events we will be attending.  If you are hosting an event and you’d like us to come along or to send some information, you can email and we’ll do our best.

Finally, we will soon be adding information on our activity in different local authority areas, and we hope you will find this information useful.

OK, I’m sold. What next?

Visit our website to apply for one to one support, or explore the other support options.