News Release from our Members Aberlour

A unique partnership of the Scottish Government, businesses and the third sector bodies has been announced that will create an innovation programme for Scotland’s voluntary sector where charities can access funds and support to accelerate their enterprising ideas.

The Social EDGE, which complements renowned innovation programme ScotEdge for Scottish business entrepreneurs, is designed to create a more enterprising culture within charities based on the expertise developed by Aberlour while adopting this approach.  It creates an opportunity to ‘pitch’ for significant investment while developing ‘intrapreneurship’ – the enterprising skills people need while working within an organisation.  Social Edge will create a hub for innovation and accelerate the growth of projects and services to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society and benefit our communities.

Created by Steve McCreadie, Business Development Director at Aberlour he said, “Aberlour Edge was designed to foster an internal culture of innovation and this approach has been piloted to create three projects within Aberlour in 2014.  One of these is providing adventure breaks for disabled children with the two more announced by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth at the RBS hosted Aberlour event on 12 November. These additional projects will help children, in families with parental substance use issues, to take part in creative and music groups in order to form friendships and family bonds.”

Social Edge will provide this opportunity to the whole voluntary sector in Scotland thanks to investment by The Scottish Government and The Scottish Grant-Making Trusts Group.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said: “Through Scotland CAN DO we are working collectively across the public, private and third sectors towards becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.

The Social EDGE is a first class example of a collaboration that combines the resources of Team Scotland for both the social and economic benefits of Scotland’s communities and is the very epitome of the CAN DO approach.

I am delighted to see the voluntary sector grasping the challenge of Scotland CAN DO and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes that will no doubt flow from this endeavour.”

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Grant-Making Trusts group, Kenneth Ferguson, Vice Convener said:  “Nimbleness and innovation within the voluntary sector is critically important and we must continue to fund great services against a backdrop of less resource in the voluntary and public sectors.   In the same way we strive for entrepreneurship in business, Third Sector organisations need inspiration and support to the grasp the opportunities that exist to bring about social change.  The Social EDGE programme will provide not only inspiration, but the practical skills and on-going support required to calculate and to cope confidently with risk-taking, in the name of service improvement.”

The details of the Social Edge programme and the investment available will be unveiled in the spring of 2015.

Source:  Aberlour