Business Support and Advice



The Charteris Centre, 138/140 The Pleasance, EDINBURGH, EH8 9RR
0131 241 1928
North East, North West, South East, South West
4 May 2022


Who is the service for?
What age range is it suitable for?
17 - 25, 26 - 29, 30 - 34, 35 - 39, 40 - 44, 45 - 49, 50 - 54, 55 - 59, 60 - 64, 65+


The Charteris Centre, 138/140 The Pleasance, EDINBURGH, EH8 9RR
0131 241 1928




ESE supports the business development and growth of social enterprise in Edinburgh through a wide variety of mechanisms delivered directly or in partnership with a variety of regional and national organisations. These support mechanisms include:

- One to one support – for new and aspiring social enterprises as well as for more established enterprises and entrepreneurs.
- Peer support – bringing members together to discuss and share their experiences, good practice and ideas through networking and training events
- Information and signposting – of support services, events, training and opportunities provided by our local and national partners.
- Facilitating collaboration – across social enterprises, private companies and public sector organisations to realise opportunities and enable community benefit
- Facilitating trading – across members and between social enterprises, private companies and public sector organisations
- Capacity building – of both people and organisations to develop the skills and knowledge required to create, manage and govern a social enterprise.
- Representation – ensuring the sector’s views and interests are represented within economic development, community planning and other relevant forums

For further information, support or advice around any of these issues please contact us.

At Edinburgh Social Enterprise we are always available to discuss, explain and help prospective, new and existing Social Enterprises.

Legal Structures and advice...

Social Enterprise is not yet a legally defined term in Scotland and the UK so an appropriate legal structure often appears to be a stumbling block for new businesses. The legal structure should always be driven and formed around what the business intends to do and how it intends to operate. Ideally all businesses should be incorporated through Companies House to provide protection to the directors and clients or customers and may also look towards registering with OSCR for charitable status in some cases.

A variety of resources and links are listed below to assist however we are always available to discuss, explain and guide you towards appropriate models and additional support.

Senscot -
Companies House -
CIC Regulator -

Start up support and accelerator programmes...

At Edinburgh Social Enterprise we are always keen to meet with new and existing Social Enterprise within the Edinburgh area to discuss new ideas or projects and are able to offer unique local advice and perspectives in particular.

For other organisations who may be able to offer specific help and support, please see

Funding and other support...

While the intention of Social Enterprises is to be self sustaining by the very nature of the business model, getting to that point or achieving that aim often needs some financial help or support in the early stages.

There are limited funding programmes available through Firstport and UnLtd and a number of other agencies. These programmes or funding opportunities are normally designed to help start up or growth and are not designed to provide funding to ensure long term sustainability.

In addition there are periodic funding opportunities from a variety of other sources including government, lottery and independent trusts or organisations. These funds are often for particular areas of work, communities or specialisms.

For a variety of links and potential funding sources which may be appropriate for Social Enterprises both new and established, please see

Other Services Run By

Edinburgh Social Enterprise (ESE)

Copyright © 2022 EVOC is a company limited by guarantee No. SC173582 and is registered Scottish charity No. SC009944.
Registered Office: 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh EH5 2FF