City centre set for Social in the Square

Posted on 09/09/2014 by


Local social enterprises to strut their stuff this weekend

solo-monster2-223x300Edinburgh has a new festival! An ambitious new social enterprise festival, Social In The Square, will take over St Andrew Square this Friday and Saturday with family fun, music, dance, theatre, chef demonstrations and arts and crafts.

Social in the Square is taking social enterprise business to the next level and encouraging customers to consider their shopping choices and decisions. Visitors to the Square will have a chance to see and buy a wide range of local products and services with over 30 social enterprises taking part.

Social enterprise is a way of doing business that benefits the community, society or the environment. Social enterprises must reinvest all of their profits into their social or environmental aims and many also achieve their aims through the way that they run their business, for example by employing people who might otherwise find it difficult to find a job.

Linsay Chalmers, network coordinator, Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network, said: “We are expecting a great turn out over the course of two days and have a great line-up of performances, music, foodie events, arts and craft. At front and centre, we also have our new branded Monster mascot signs ‘Doogie Goodstuff’ – to promote our social enterprise campaign, ‘Buy the Good Stuff”, to encourage people to buy from social enterprises and plough money back into their own communities.”

siamsoirAward-winning Irish Dance troupe Siamsoir (above), entertained local workers and commuters when they rehearsed in the Square this morning. A social enterprise in its own right, the team of highly trained Irish dancers perform for corporate, social and charity events.

Speaking on behalf of the troupe, Jennifer Roxburgh, artistic director of the Irish Dance Academy, said: “There has been a lot of preparation for this new festival and we are very excited to be involved. Running your own social enterprise is extremely rewarding and many different types of business can grow from this example.

“We have been running the dance academy since 2005 and are now winning top awards which we hope will inspire others to start their own enterprise businesses.”

Fraser Kelly, chief executive, Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “It’s great to see an entirely new initiative like this come to life. Social Enterprise Scotland believes in taking social enterprise to the streets and to real people – bringing it into the mainstream. Social In The Square is the first of its kind and has gone city wide this week, with branding on Lothian Buses reaching local communities throughout Edinburgh. I am sure we will see a lot of interest from across Scotland as we start to see the impact of this event and the Buy the Good Stuff campaign.”

Chief executive, Ewan Fraser, Dunedin Canmore, said: “We signed up to supporting Social in the Square from the start and really see the social benefit of local business in local communities and with profits returning back into communities. As a social enterprise ourselves, it is encouraging to see the rich variety of businesses represented at this event.”

Keeping in tune with the ethos of the festival – the security, marketing materials, recycling and water for the volunteers has all being provided by social enterprises.

Social in the Square has been organised by Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network in partnership with Social Enterprise Scotland and is sponsored by Awards for All, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association, Link Housing Association, the Business Gateway, the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Markets

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