Scottish Social Enterprise Leaders Explore Collaboration Opportunities in Donegal

A delegation of 9 Scottish social enterprise leaders visited Donegal, Ireland to explore collaboration and knowledge exchange opportunities with local social enterprises. They learned about the Shared Service Model, which allows social enterprises to jointly employ staff, and saw potential for broader application in Scotland.

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Scottish Social Enterprise Leaders Explore Collaboration Opportunities in Donegal

Scottish Social Enterprise Leaders Explore Collaboration Opportunities in Donegal

A delegation of nine Scottish social enterprise leaders recently visited Donegal, Ireland, to explore collaboration and knowledge exchange opportunities with local social enterprises and organizations. The visit, hosted by Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) and Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI), focused on innovative support models, particularly the Shared Service Model successfully piloted by DLDC.

Why this matters: This cross-border collaboration has the potential to drive social enterprise growth and innovation in both Scotland and Ireland, ultimately leading to more effective solutions for addressing societal challenges. By sharing knowledge and expertise, social enterprises can increase their impact and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.

The Shared Service Model allows social enterprises to jointly employ staff, such as a bookkeeper or communications administrator, enabling them to benefit from professional support services while focusing on their core community functions. Thisinnovative approachhas garnered significant interest from the Scottish delegation, who see potential for broader application in their own social enterprise ecosystem.

The Scottish delegation comprised leaders from various sectors of social enterprise, including Kim Wallace, Deputy CEO of Social Enterprise Scotland; Martin Avila, CEO of CEIS; Douglas Westwater, CEO of Community Enterprise; Gael Drummond, CEO of Firstport; Kieran Daly, Head of Market Building at Social Investment Scotland; Clarrie Murdoch, Business Advisor at Impact Hub Inverness; Eoghan Mackie, CEO of The Challenges Group; and David Bryan, Head of Sustainable Business at Social Enterprise Academy.

During their visit, the delegation toured local initiatives in Donegal, visited social enterprises, and engaged in discussions and collaborations with local leaders. John Logue, CEO of SERI, expressed pride in facilitating the exchange, stating,"We are proud to have facilitated such a significant exchange of ideas and strategies with our Scottish counterparts. This visit has strengthened our ties and broadened our perspectives, which will help drive social enterprise in Ireland."

Margaret Larkin, Head of Operations at DLDC, shared her enthusiasm for the Shared Service Model and its potential for broader application, saying, "It was inspiring to share our experiences and successes with the Scottish delegation. Their enthusiasm for our Shared Service Model reaffirmed the value of our work and the potential for broader application. The visit has laid a solid foundation for future collaborations between Scottish and Irish social enterprises."

The visit marked a significant step in creating opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange between Scotland and Ireland in social entrepreneurship. It highlighted shared challenges and opportunities, paving the way for innovative solutions that could benefit both regions. As social enterprises continue to play a vital role in addressing societal challenges and driving positive change, suchinternational collaborationsand knowledge-sharing initiatives are crucial for fostering growth, innovation, and impact in the sector.