Social Enterprise Growth & Innovation Workshops in Scotland 

Workshop Overview

The Innovation Workshop is a type of mainstream business support that Scottish Enterprise offers to help companies to take the first steps towards innovating. Our team worked with the Innovation Team to tailor this support and offer it to Social Enterprises in a cohort approach.  

Scottish Enterprise worked in partnership with local stakeholders such as Business Gateways, Social Entrepreneur Networks and Councils to host and promote two workshops in regions where there was identified demand. We were able to support a total of 18 individual social enterprises.  

The workshops consisted of 2-stages aimed at taking the ambitious social enterprises through a pragmatic process for growth & innovation. 

The first stage was the interactive session.  

Objectives included: 

  • Introducing delegates to the key stages of the innovation process 
  • Providing delegates with practical innovation tools & techniques to develop successful new services/products
  • Creating a new way for social enterprises to operate for the benefit of their local community

The second stage involved delegates signing up to a 121 surgery with a Scottish Enterprise Innovation Specialist. This is FREE impartial advice to help  social enterprise projects succeed. 

Objectives included: 

  • Acting as a sounding board for their innovation ideas and plans 
  • Signposting to available partner and social enterprise innovation support
  • Introduction to and access to social enterprise advice and support/funding where applicable



The workshops began with an introduction to the end-to-end innovation process, and where this fits with the innovation challenges faced by social enterprises.  

Delegates were then asked to call out and share the current innovation and growth challenges they face within their organisation. The facilitator also covered agile principles relating to ways of working to help set the tone for the workshop, collaboration being key. 

The delegates were then paired up to ensure there were two social enterprises per group. Each group covered the following exercises: 

  • Target audience and customer needs 
  • Value proposition 
  • Stretch & Build 


  • Knowledge transfer - Having been taken through each exercise, each social enterprise who attended the workshop could now do it themselves in their own individual organisations
  • Proposition development – As every social enterprise attending the workshop was taking part, it gave them the opportunity to stretch and strengthen their existing propositions 
  • Networking and collaboration – Due to the collaborative nature of each workshop exercise, several attendees were able to share ideas, experiences and advice.