Local MSP Ruth Maguire has commended the Scottish Government’s announcement of more than £1 million to advance Scotland’s world-leading social enterprise sector.

The announcement was made during a debate on the Scottish Government’s recently launched ten year strategy to develop and support the sector.

SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, was among the MSPs who spoke in the debate, and used her speech to highlight the significant social impact of social enterprises. Ruth also welcomed the strong support for the sector at a local level from North Ayrshire Council.

Speaking in the debate, Ruth said:

‘Encouraging inclusive economic growth and tackling inequalities are central, and inextricable, ambitions of this SNP Government. Social Enterprises are at the heart of both.

There are many different types of Social Enterprise, but what unites them all is a core commitment to contributing to the social as well as to the economic good. In short, they are businesses where society profits.

Social Enterprises already have a strong basis in North Ayrshire., There are currently 98 in operation, with 824 full time equivalent employees, a combined annual income of £5.6 million and a net worth of £17.4 million. Furthermore, 52% of North Ayrshire’s Social Enterprise specifically target disadvantaged people as employees, which is above the Scotland wide average of 48%.

Given the manifest social and economic benefits of social enterprises, I am delighted to see strong funding for the sector at both the local and national levels. North Ayrshire Council recently announced £500, 000 of funding, and this is alongside over £1 million of funding for social enterprises from central government

I look forward to working with both the Scottish Government and North Ayrshire Council to realise our ambitions as we go forward.’