Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise

Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change.

During this last year we have seen a stream of social enterprises starting up in Aberdeenshire. Many people are looking to address their work/life balance by starting up an entrepreneurial business. Some of these businesses become social enterprises and take the legal form of Sole Trader, Community Interest Company, Company Limited by Guarantee or a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to name a few.

But what is a Social Enterprise?
A Social Enterprise is an organisation that is carrying out some form of trading whether it be with goods or services. The difference between a Social Enterprise and a charity is that Social enterprises aspire to generate an independent income generation and are nor reliant on funding. Key components of a social enterprise include:

  • Developed with strong social and/or environmental purposes at its core
  • Having an Asset Lock that ensures any profit is reinvested into the organisation.
  • A dissolution clause that stipulates that on wind up assets are transferred to a similar organisation with similar social
  • An aspiration for financial independence through income generated trading.

AVA Social Enterprise Forum

Social Enterprise Network (SEN)

Social Enterprise

Our Social Enterprise Forums are held every 6 months. The forums will enable you to:-

  • Connect with each other to enable partnership working and improve cross-sector collaboration.  
  • Build your capacity by accessing AVA’s support services, THRIVE (training platform) and external training opportunities.  
  • Share your knowledge and experience by building a community of like-minded groups/organisations.
  • Contribute to strategic, local, and national agendas by bringing your voice to the table.

If you would like to be kept up to date with forum dates please email Aileen Longino:

Social Enterprise

AVA have recently developed an Aberdeenshire Social Enterprise Network (SEN) to connect like-minded Social Entrepreneurs. The network meet every 2 months and is currently happening online. If you would like to join the Aberdeenshire SEN you can register here.

We have also established a WhatsApp group for the network which gives you instant access to Aileen Longino and other network members if you need a quick answer to something. Send a text to 07824 096531 to join the group chat.

To find out more about what AVA can offer, register for our newsletter here. Access AVA’s FREE membership here, which entitles you to a range of benefits including a Members’ Forum and governance, funding, volunteering, promotion and group development support.

At AVA our Social Enterprise specialist, Aileen Longino, works with a wide variety of social enterprises across Aberdeenshire. We are looking to establish regular forums dedicated to social enterprises and establish a network across Aberdeenshire. If you are looking to set up a social enterprise or are already established and need some support moving forward and adapting to our ever changing landscape contact Aileen Longino at: or Tel: 07824 096531.

SE Code of Conduct
Download here
AVA's own Social Enterprise
Download here
Social Enterprise in Scotland
Social Enterprise in Scotland Census 2021