Social enterprises from across the world will visit The Experience in Renfrewshire as part of the biggest ever gathering of its type in 2018. The move was announced after the Social Enterprise World Forum confirmed that it would be holding their annual conference in Scotland.
Delegates from across the globe will visit The Experience in Hillington Park, a social enterprise owned and operated by Paisley charity Kibble. The two day event will focus on the environment and the social enterprise business model.
The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) was established in 2008 to promote the social enterprise business model, where companies operate with a social mission and profits are reinvested instead of being paid to shareholders. The inaugural event was held in Edinburgh in 2008 with subsequent forums in Melbourne (2009), San Francisco (2010), South Africa (2011), Rio de Janeiro (2012), Calgary (2013), Seoul (2014), Milan (2015), Hong Kong (2016) and Christchurch (2017).
Chief Executive of Kibble Jim Gillespie said:
“Kibble has been a big supporter of SEWF right from the very beginning. We are delighted that our own social enterprise The Experience will be hosting a two day environmental working group as part of their conference next year.
“The Experience is maybe not what you would expect from a typical social enterprise. As well as being a Visit Scotland 5 Star accredited go karting and conference centre, it also hosts a range of social programmes including giving young people the chance of training and employment.
“Visitors from across the world will be able to see the important work that we are doing at Kibble and our other social enterprises like The Experience and Oskars (Kibble’s recycling social enterprise). By sharing learning and expertise, we want to be able to provide even more opportunities for young people in Renfrewshire.”
Gerry Higgins, CEO of the 2018 organisers Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS) said:
“Since organising the first event in Edinburgh in 2008 we could see there was a real passion to establish social enterprise as a viable business model for non-profits looking for sustainability and entrepreneurs seeking to create businesses that benefit society. Visitors to Scotland in 2018 will engage with our unique Scottish and UK social enterprise scene, where social enterprises and government work together to tackle inequality, build healthy communities and create vibrant local economies.
“We are preparing to welcome 1200 participants from over 40 countries to Edinburgh in September, as SEWF 2018 provides a unique opportunity for the social enterprise community to collaborate and network in an inspiring and supportive setting.”