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A road-map for Social Entrepreneurs






PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT Restoring pride / Heritage / Sustainability / Filling empty spaces

GETTING NOTICED Connecting community activity / Making services easier to find / Bringing people together

MOVE AROUND YOUR CITY Routes through your community / Safe routes / Get up, Get active & Get involved

SOCIAL INTERACTION Being independent / Happy & Healthy Getting out of the house / 24 hour city

This guide aims to inspire and encourage you to revitalise your local area. As part of our research into high street decline, we asked people to tell us about projects that they thought were great examples of local regeneration, so here they are! We’ve included examples that show a wide range of high street activities. We haven’t “assessed” the projects, or even met them all – they will all have strengths and weaknesses, and not all of the ideas will work in other areas. But they will get you thinking about what might work where you live. How could you adapt these ideas? Are there ideas that you could build on or combine in your area? Or do you have even better ideas which you want to make happen in your community? We have divided the guide into 4 broad areas, so whether you are into arts and crafts; always dreamed of setting up your own retail business or you are just really passionate about the area where you live, the guide will have something to inspire you! And if you do take action, there is plenty of support out there to help you develop, test and launch your ideas. Check out the end of the guide for sources of support.

Would you set up community workshops?

Could you upcylce waste?

Would you work with people online?

Shared creative space?

Art & Design community run groups?

Are you interested in food & drink?

Would you sell local arts & crafts?

Would you provide food on the go?

Promoting healthy living in your area?

Trading goods locally?









LL M O V E ,






















LEITH Late “LeithLate is very active. During Leith Late every shop on Leith walk stays open – arts and culture themed in cafes, hair dressers etc- a sort of fringe festival!”

LeithLate is an annual multi-arts event that takes place across multiple art spaces and local businesses in Leith, Edinburgh in the space of just one evening. The event has been running since 2011 and has since been responsible for a number of public arts initiatives in Leith, including The Shutter Project and The Leith Mural Project. Local shopping areas are often unused outside of ‘opening hours’ – LeithLate uses this otherwise wasted space and time to create a ’buzz’ around the area and to encourage people to explore shops and facilities they might not otherwise use. LeithLate supports new creative and performance enterprises to launch and reach new markets. The use of shops as venues allows businesses to showcase themselves to new customers and users. Arts and Creative festivals are often located in their own spaces – by using existing shops and town centre venues as performance venues, the creative and performance industries can directly contribute to strengthening interest and engagement amongst the public with parts of town centres they might not know about. At the LeithLate13 event, the team announced the inception of a new LeithLate initiative. The Mural Project (funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, Port of Leith Housing Association and Scotmid), which resulted in the installation of a new, contemporary mural for Leith on the corner of Gordon Street and Halmyre Street by the Blameless Collective. Top Tip • Seek agreements amongst shop owners and other public buildings and spaces to host performances.

kidzeco kidzeco is a unique not for profit social enterprise set up to benefit families in west lothian and offer services including a shop, recycling baby and children's goods, a parenting room (with breastfeeding facilities), and a flexible multi-event community room. “We have been running since February 2010 and have been awarded West Lothian Social Enterprise of the year both in 2010 and 2011 as well as being commended in the Social Enterprise Scotland start up awards 2011. So far we have diverted over 18 tonnes from landfill.” KidzEco was established in December 2009 by Tracy Murdoch, a young mum with a background in business development and volunteering. Tracy’s initial idea was to set up a shop selling good quality donated children’s goods – this idea arose from her own difficulties when trying to find somewhere to donate her children’s items, but also from the social and economic need she had observed from her time managing volunteers. However, being made aware about the environmental impact of landfill, the enterprise mushroomed into not only a shop focused on recycling, but also a community enterprise with a craft workshop, breastfeeding facilities and community room. To date, Kidzeco has diverted over 50 tonnes of baby and children’s goods and textiles from landfill, provided over 50 voluntary opportunities and employed 15 unemployed young people. All profits are reinvested into subsidising their current services and developing the organisation.

Locavore Locavore is a social enterprise based in the south side of Glasgow set up by social entrepreneur Reuben Chesters. Locavore exists to take forward projects and initiatives which contribute to the creation of sustainable local food economies. Some of its activities include creating an exemplar aquaponics system within the St Enoch Shopping Centre, running a not-forprofit local food shop/hub and providing local, organic veg bags to over 100 households per week by subscription. It hosts community garden sessions, delivers cookery workshops and are working to develop a 2.5 acre market garden within the urban fringes of Glasgow.

creative stirling “Our amazing support network of volunteers have skills, knowledge and talent, making up the force that drives our organisation, all of whom are passionate about making Stirling realise its full potential as one of Scotland’s thriving and beautiful small cities.�

Joe Hall is the social entrepreneur who started up Creative Stirling, offering workspace and events in all areas of the creative industries. Creative Stirling manage a hugely successful retail space in the heart of the City called ‘Made in Stirling’ which offers many opportunities, including volunteering. The busy shop gives artists, designers and makers the chance to retail on the high street. The group also deliver art events, pop-up cinemas, flea markets and food festivals. The events utilise the wealth of available spaces in the city and attract people from all over the country to attend. Creative Stirling organised Freedom Versions, a collaborative mural painted by 10 of the best street artists in the country. The amazing artwork was created over a week, covering 110 square metres of wall. Freedom Versions v2 was a screen print exhibition held in the historic Old Town Jail and challenged the issue of Scottish independence. The exhibition ran for a month and attracted thousands of visitors. Pictures from all their events can be viewed on the Creative Stirling website. Top Tips: • Link in with local businesses to get free stuff. • Try different events that bring in talented artists from out of town. • Use the ideas of the volunteers and staff who have local knowledge. • Be clear on what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there.

WIGTOWN BOOK FESTIVAL “As well as economics, the project has been a great focus for community action. The book festival now has more than 100 volunteers, almost all from the local area.”

The project began in 1998 following a national competition which the town won. Investment was put into Wigtown's historic infrastructure and secondhand booksellers were encouraged to move into empty shops on the main street. Wigtown Book Festival has gone from a weekend event to the current 10 day affair and has won various awards including a Thistle Award, Arts & Business (Scotland) Award and Creative Place Award. Investment was put into Wigtown’s historic infrastructure and secondhand booksellers were encouraged – though not financially incentivised – to move into empty shops on the main street. A total of over a dozen did – and most still remain or have been replaced. “Wigtown Book Festival has been a success – the media exposure it gains every year is significant in putting the town and the wider region of Dumfries & Galloway in the public eye, and the economic effect on tourism during the shoulder (autumn) season goes way beyond the immediate town throughout the region.”

RESONatE ARTS HOUSE “I feel part of something bigger, from which I hope to learn and for the first time, can already feel the support, the enthusiasm from all wanting this to succeed. Thank you - I am totally convinced, without meeting you, this would not survive, I have a chance now� Angela initially set up Resonate Arts as a sole trader in 2011, but after realising that her work had huge social impacts in the local community and discovering the world of social enterprise, she set out to turn Resonate into a thriving social enterprise that would encourage and support creative expression for all. Angela approached Just Enterprise start up support in the early stages of her venture. Two years on, Resonate Arts has established a reputation as a true community hub, with growing numbers attending her classes and workshops. In 2013, she secured further funding from the Millennium Awards Trust to consolidate and grow the business. A weekly programme of activities and clubs has brought people from all walks of life together. Young people from difficult backgrounds have gone on to Art College and into employment; the elderly have a reason to come out of their houses and socialise; and mothers and their children come together with others via events. Angela’s work has seen confidence and self-esteem among her participants soar with many now helping to organise and host events.

velocity cafe & bicycle workshop “Setting up Velocity has been a very positive experience for us. We have made several contacts with business support organisations and each person involved has guided us in the right direction�

velocity cafe & bicycle workshop was set up with the aim to help people get on their bikes and promote a healthy, happy lifestyle. The business has experienced rapid growth and is now a busy meeting point for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Velocity cafĂŠ and bicycle workshop is a social enterprise in the heart of Inverness aiming to increase access to the joys that being on a bicycle, eating delicious healthy food and telling stories can bring. It all started when Laura and Penny entered a business competition run by the University of the Highlands and Islands. Although at a very early stage, winning the top prize gave them the confidence to pursue the idea. From then it went from strength to strength: they identified and secured a premises quickly, which allowed them to get the workshop and cafĂŠ off the ground very quickly. The organisation now has 7 voluntary board directors; it has secured a Climate Challenge Fund grant as well as a service level agreement with a local authority. Due to its rapid growth, Velocity received business support from a range of business support organisations, such as Firstport and the Just Enterprise programme. This helped them secure a graduate to set up the cafĂŠ and get it to a thriving position, generating sustainable income to further the social aims and objectives of the organisation.

Remake Scotland Remake Scotland started in 2011 as a social enterprise specialising in craft and construction workshops and aiming to divert potential waste from landfill by finding new uses for reclaimed, discarded and found objects. It encourages children and adults of all ages to "make good stuff from old stuff" while learning to use tools with confidence. Fiona Gilbert comes from an arts & crafts background and is a trained artist. Together with her husband Danny, a primary teacher, they built a socially and environmentally responsible business developing skills and confidence through arts and crafts. After researching local competitors and identifying a gap in the market, Fiona began piloting the idea by running creative reuse workshops for children. Remake moved to bigger premises in Crieff in 2012 and currently runs 4 projects as part of its creative and socially inclusive community hub. The Community Scrapstore collects safe, clean business waste for re-use as art, craft, play & educational materials by community groups, schools and individuals. They also run a small furniture reuse project. The Make & Mend Craft Space is used for community classes, private hire and parties. The Workshop is being developed for a tool reuse, bike and furniture project and Remake also offers creative re-use outreach workshops to schools, community organisations and residential care homes. Fiona applied to Firstport for support to help her put robust business systems in place. Rapid growth early on meant they needed to adopt a suitable legal structure and seek larger premises. Remake Scotland became a registered charity in 2013 and works with volunteers from a variety of ages, abilities and backgrounds. Remake also collaborates with local makers, artists and mentors to showcase creative and practical skills. Remake continues to encourage grassroots creativity with a particular focus on intergenerational community building and skills sharing.

The Glasgow Bike station Learning to ride a bike less than 10 years ago was the beginning of Glasgow Bike Station founder Gregory Chauvet’s social enterprise journey in 2010. Frustrated by a lack of facilities for cyclists and the high costs of purchase and maintenance, Gregory decided to start his own venture to address this need. Initially armed with a few borrowed tools from friends, The Glasgow Bike Station has developed into an award-winning social enterprise that provides low cost recycled bikes to the community and bike mechanic and cycle training. The Glasgow Bike Station has gone from strength to strength, moving to bigger premises in 2012. It now has 14 full time employees and in addition to bike recycling and maintenance workshops, it now provides a range of services for employers to promote cycling and sustainable transport. It works with voluntary organisations, schools and youth groups, providing everything from cycle training to guided bike rides.

stirling CITYLAB “The main aim of the CityLab was to enable people to channel their motivation and entrepreneurial initiative, by guiding them to the relevant resources already available in Stirling and assisting them through access to a flexible working space with networking opportunities�

The CityLab was dedicated to supporting anyone eager to operate in Stirling’s city centre and provided business advice, support, networking and access to the city centre trading realm whilst offering accessible and free working space, meeting space and WiFi to registered participants. The CityLab had been an aspiration of Start Up Street, as a response to the need for an ‘incubator space’ which would work closely with people with business ideas, this had been highlighted as a city centre deficiency, through a range of previous research activities and city centre discussions. Over the five month pilot phase of the project, the team held numerous consultations as well as offering a space for fundraising and networking events. Many of the budding entrepreneurs who took their project ideas along gained valuable support from the team and have gone on to further develop their business plans. Citylab offered space for local artists and traders to hold a flea market in the city centre. The flea market attracted people from far and wide, showcasing a variety of talented locals, including a live mural painting demonstration. Opening their doors to such diverse events offered the people of Stirling a flexible space in which to hold events.

we are pop•up “Make sure you understand the problem you are solving, If some parts of your project feel like pushing a boulder up a hill, think hard about where the resistance is coming from”

Very often, initiatives focus on either would-be tenants, or landlords with empty properties – by targeting both and seeking to facilitate and support direct relationships between them, WeArePopUp is ensuring that the confidences and abilities of both parties in engaging with each other are strengthened. We make it easy for property managers and agents to reach out directly to the world’s leading brands and find great short-term tenants. We work closely with our dedicated users to develop unique, creative and innovative experiences. We Are Pop Up is growing fast as the easiest way to connect and transact short-term spaces. Top Tips • Do communicate closely with people and build a strong community. • Don’t over-promise, over complicate, make assumptions or try and find a “silver bullet” solution

WHAT IS NEXT ? READY TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD? HERE’S WHERE TO GO... FirstportBusiness support and start up funds to test good social enterprise ideas

DittoTake an idea off the shelf and make it work in your local area

Somewhereto_ A service that helps you find space for your idea

Keep informed with what others are doing via social media


Inspiration guide  
Inspiration guide  

This guide is to inspire and encourage you to revitalise your local area. We asked people to tell us about projects that they thought were g...