Good for your loved ones and good for Scottish communities
Bicycles & gear
Using recycled and up-cycled bikes, the Bike Station campaigns for more cycle paths, gets commuters their first bike and helps them continue to promote cycling as an ecological and healthy way of getting around. The best part is, their bikes are super affordable!
Clothing & accessories
The Blankfaces is the UK's first fashion label aimed at ending homelessness.
Each of their designs is inspired or created by a homeless person.
They work with fashion students within Glasgow who donate their time to help run classes with the homeless community, with 100% of profits going to the homeless community. It's not just about raising money, it's also about giving people an outlet to tell their story. They look to change perceptions about those who are homeless; they are not just a statistic, they should not be faceless, ignored and forgotten.
On a tight budget? Bookdonors offers books at the lowest possible price. Based in the Scottish Borders, Bookdonors provide flexible employment opportunities to people who find work generally difficult to obtain, and they help protect the environment by re-using & recycling unwanted books which would have gone to landfill.
Craft beer, jumpers & t-shirts
In early 2016, Brewgooder set out on a simple mission - to provide clean water for 1,000,000 people through the power of craft beer by donating 100% of profits to clean water charities. Since then, they've helped to bring clean water to over 40,000 people in Malawi. Their mission is to never stop until they hit their target of 1,000,000 people impacted by great beer. You can join their mission and become a Brewgooder.
Carishea work with communities in Ghana where women harvest shea nuts to produce butter, which is then handcrafted into luxurious products by their workers from disadvantaged communities in Scotland.
Soaps, lip balms, woodcraft and chutneys
Clydesdale Community Initiatives is a social enterprise based at Langloch Farm in Lanark which offers products from multiple micro businesses. They work in partnership with adults who at some point in their life have faced health, social or physical challenges.
They produce handmade luxury natural soaps and lip balms from Langloch Botanics with the participants growing and harvesting the herbs themselves. While Langloch Woodshop create handcrafted wood signs, planters and benches to personal bespoke order making everyone unique and suited to your needs.
They create a delicious range of chutneys from local produce with their participants in the Kitchen.
Cothrom ReStore offers recycled furniture, with the items being made by learners through recycled textiles and wood.
Cothrom ReStore is a recycling enterprise based on the Isle of South Uist, Western Isles. It supports learners from all areas of the community, including those least equipped to find and sustain employment and personal independence. Specific training is focused for those with additional challenges including physical and/or learning disabilities, addiction, disengagement from education/work and mental health issues.
Groceries, veg bags
For those of you living in Edinburgh, Dig-In is a community-owned and supported, not-for-profit greengrocer in Bruntsfield who supply locally-sourced produce and foster community spirit.
They do veg bags and can provide you with all the weird and wonderful (as well as completely normal) veg your heart desires, not to mention a wide variety of wholefoods, cheeses, nibbles, and more.
Cushions, woodwork and more
Freedom Unlimited offers a range of products such as high-end Scottish themed cushions, as well as products made from reclaimed timber, made in their Crafted with Conviction™ wood workshop.
Freedom Unlimited is a social enterprise in Fife that provides work experience, training and employment for people who have been in touch with criminal justice.
GalGael has been working alongside the unemployed in Glasgow's south since 1997. They provide a space in which people can re-connect with themselves and re-connect with the people and the communities around them, using traditional craft to restore a sense of self respect and self worth.
Products range from lovely wooden chopping boards to quirky whisky stave benches.
Home & garden furniture
Glasgow Wood Recycling has been rescuing wood from landfill since 2007. They stock competitively priced recycled wood, quality handmade furniture and make bespoke items to your specification.
Their workshop creates jobs, training and volunteering opportunities, helping people develop confidence and learn a range of transferable skills that will help them to get into paid work.
Glencraft is one of the oldest known mattress manufacturers in the UK. It's an enterprise that strives to craft the highest quality products. Founded in Scotland, the company has manufactured mattresses in the North East since 1843. Glencraft has supplied four generations of the British Royal Family at Balmoral Castle and hold a Royal Warrant for doing so.
The social enterprise looks to offer employment to people with disabilities, either through physical or mental health issues, who may struggle to secure employment otherwise.
Grace Chocolates are handmade by women who have touched the Scottish criminal justice system and are choosing to make positive changes in their lives. Through making and selling the chocolates the women receive support, training, work experience and the opportunity to raise their self-esteem and resilience which helps lower the barriers they face in finding meaningful employment.
Heroes is a non-profit organisation founded by a UK military veteran with deep military roots. As such, a great deal of time and consideration has been taken in ensuring that the quality of the product closely matches the highest standards expected by the Armed Forces.
Heroes Vodka is distilled a minimum of seven times to ensure its purity before being diluted with demineralised Scottish water, resulting in a crystal clear and exceptionally smooth vodka, which has a subtle sweetness. In addition to the recognition for its exceptional quality, Heroes pledges a minimum of 20% of its profits to Forces and Veterans Charities.
Hey Girls know that girls and young women are all powerful individuals, care about your health, are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference. That’s why they created Hey Girls – to offer a no leak, super comfy, chlorine and bleach free, environmentally friendly product that tackles period poverty in the UK. All the profits from their Buy One Give One products go directly to help girls and young women in need. So that means for every box you buy, they give a box away- yep just that straightforward.
Mattresses & furniture
Highland BlindCraft design, manufacture and sell both traditional and contemporary beds, divans, mattresses, headboards, chairs and other furniture of a high standard.
Highland BlindCraft was established over 140 years ago and runs on the founding principal of providing employment to those who are blind, as well as people with a variety of disabilities from all over the Highlands and Islands.
Exotic sauces, spreads, spices
Shop Social Scotland discount code (10% off your first order, excludes 90kg Rice Challenge): SHOPSIS
Based in Paisley in the West of Scotland, JTS is a fair trade organisation set up to facilitate the import and distribution of fairly traded products to the UK. They empower and educate producers and consumers, through the fair purchasing and sale of delicious food products from the developing world.
Handmade, upcycled products
Based in West Lothian with shops in Bathgate and Livingston, Kidzeco have a mission to provide families with high quality pre-loved children’s clothes, toys and equipment at an affordable price.
They have everything you’ll ever need for your little one; clothes, baby gifts, and handmade bespoke goods.
Scarves, throws, tote bags, fabric
Made by the skillful hands of real Highlanders, Knockando's wool products are beautiful and properly Scottish. Help your friends and family wrap up warm in style this winter.
The Knockando Woolmill is a social enterprise set up to revive Knockando Woolmill and train a new generation of spinners and weavers.
Art and design pieces
The Libertie Project Limited is a social enterprise that runs arts and craft activities for offenders, those at risk of offending, their familes and victims of crime. It acts as a therapeutic medium to improve general health and well being, develop pre-employability skills and reduce re-offending throughout the Highlands. They make beautiful arts and crafts pieces which are available through their Etsy shop.
Groceries, veg boxes
Locavore (as in carnivore, omnivore... Locavore) is a Glasgow based social enterprise dedicated to local food and making the Scottish food system more sustainable. They run a community cafe and shop, sell veg bags and teach cookery. They also deliver all sorts of projects which help raise awareness of food issues and contribute to the creation of sustainable food systems which are better for the environment, the economy and our communities.
The MsMissMrs service offers an educational development programme known as the S.E.T. (Self-Esteem Tools) to women and girls who are building or rebuilding self-esteem and self-awareness.
Their product, Empowerment Pants, is their very own brand of underwear, trademarked and designed in Glasgow. They are a gift item that not only feels good but does good! The profits are reinvested in supporting social change at a community level.
Wicker wares from Moray
'New hands weaving old ways', from a beautiful barn in Moray they make local, source local and sell local. Keeping their hands busy creating useful items out of natural material, making things to last, not throw away.
As well as selling woven wares, Naturally Useful also offer apprenticeships to pass on the skills for future generations. Vouchers are available for courses and local groups and individuals are encouraged to come and experience the empowerment and tranquility of making an unique and useful product.
Soaps and bath products
Ness Soaps is based near the banks of Loch Ness. They craft products that are made using natural ingredients and essential oils. All profits from sales go back into supporting the work of the Calman Trust, working to improve the life chances of young people in the Highlands.
These young people are part of the dedicated team working to produce these high quality handmade soap and bath products. They work closely with the training team in their roles so that their placements are more than just a job and also a valuable learning experience.
Ethical power banks
From humble beginnings with a bold vision, Power a Life sells empowering chargers and is positively changing school children's lives in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Your wee PAL power bank lets you charge your phone on-the-go and gives a solar light to a school child in Africa with every purchase.
Healthcare and mobility products
Respite Now offers a range of services and products that are available to people with learning & other disabilities, their family, friends and supporters.
Using commercial activity to ensure their continued impact and sustainability, Respite Now offers recliner chairs, power scooters, wheelchairs, stairlifts, walking aids, first aid products and second hand items.
Furnishings, fashion and crafts
ReTweed is an award-winning social enterprise based in the fishing town of Eyemouth in South East Scotland, offering women a new way to think about their futures by gaining the skills and experience for creative industry and enterprise whilst producing amazing and original furnishings and fashions and crafts. The Project also delivers a range of low-cost heritage, thrift and craft workshops to the wider community and to visitors to the area.
Art, jewellery, accessories & more
The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) is a social enterprise supporting local creative talent. They have two unique retail stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow which sell design-led, handmade products from artists living in Scotland (including from some social enterprise listed on this website!).
SDX not only allows emerging and independent makers to profit in a retail environment, but also benefits the public who can invest in locally made, quality products in the knowledge that their money is going to the right place.
Soaps and candles
Shetland Soap Company works alongside adults with learning disabilities and autism to produce a range of handmade soap and skincare products, inspired by the beauty of their Islands. Great products, Great people.
Shetland Soap Company is proudly part of COPE Ltd, a social enterprise based in Shetland.
Tartan gifts, scarves, jewellery, candles
Silver Stag of Scotland are a Community Interest Company who have designed their own tartan and using only bespoke manufacturers in Scotland, made a wonderful variety of gift items. All their profits go to supporting the charity STAND International, who serve the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Scotland, and further afield.
Socially-conscious gift boxes
Social Stories Club create socially-conscious gift boxes containing 10 products from 10 social enterprises, supporting 10 social causes from reforestation to empowering disadvantaged communities. Every product inside has a unique story of social impact. Social Stories Club aim to shine a light on social enterprises and their social missions and make socially-conscious products more accessible across the UK.
Experiences & gift vouchers
Enjoy and share these fun experiences from social enterprises.
Theatre and the arts
There's lots on at Ayr Gaiety; plays, musicals and special events. At the Beacon Arts Centre there are more performances, workshops and community events. Both theatres are social enterprises, helping bring their local communities together for arts, education, and employment opportunities.
Be sure to check out what they have on in the up and coming months.
The No. 1 Be-friending Agency offers a befriending service to older people. This means you can volunteer your time as a befriender and share your smile and time! They also offer a bespoke care at home package - a great opportunity for people to give the gift of care to someone who needs it, through our care team at theno1care.org.
Horse riding, walking
Eat, Sleep, Ride is a social enterprise targeting people experiencing mental health problems, those that have suffered abuse, lived in areas of high deprivation and other challenges such as drug/alcohol addiction. They are also a TRSS approved horse riding centre and give lessons and hacks to the public.
Eat, Sleep, Ride offer gift vouchers. Lessons can be private, restricted or in a group, with flat work or jumping lessons available.
Wakeboarding and ropes course
If you haven't tried Foxlake's wakeboarding challenge, you haven't lived. Fun for all the family, this adventure park in Dunbar features an overhead rope course with no safety harnesses - only the water below. For people who don't fancy plunging into Scottish waters this winter, Foxlake also do vouchers, and have an award-winning cafe.
Foxlake is a social enterprise aiming to create major economical impact in the Lothians both in terms of tourism, employment and youth development.
Visit the 5 star Highlanders’ Museum (Queen’s Own Highlanders Collection) and immerse yourself in the rich and diverse history, following in the footsteps of the Highland soldier from just after the Battle of Culloden until the present day. The Nationally Significant Collection, the largest collection of military artefacts outside of Edinburgh, showcases the history of the Highland Regiments and includes an array of artefacts and archive material from the Seaforth Highlanders, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the Queen’s Own Highlanders, The Highlanders and most recently, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).
Electric and super quiet, the go-karts at The Experience are a guaranteed way to have huge amounts of fun without the tinnitus. The venue also features a lovely cafe & restaurant for when you eventually tire of making your opponents eat your dust. Great for a team or family day out, or buy someone a voucher.
Operating as a social enterprise, The Experience provides employment opportunities for young people age 16+ who have barriers to employment.
Mountain biking & hillwalking
Nothing beats a crisp afternoon in the Highlands. The cafe and outdoor centre at Laggan means that you can start and end your day of walking or biking with a nice cup of cocoa. So work up an appetite for some traybake and get out into the great outdoors.
The Laggan Wolftrax Centre was established in order to benefit the local community through tourism, and to provide an attraction for youth groups in order to raise the profile of mountain biking.
With cooking lessons for both adults and kids, the Larder Cook School wants to put good homecooking back on the menu for Scottish families. If their beautiful website is anything to go by, they mean business, and they spend their profits on providing employability programmes for young people. They also run fabulous cooking courses for beginners as well as special event workshops.
Scotland's only community-owned ski centre, Lowther Hills is the only ski centre in the south of Scotland. Ideal for families and beginners, the ski area is based in Scotland's Highest Villages - Leadhills and Wanlockhead- nested in the gentle rolling slopes of the Lowther Hills. A social enterprise run by volunteers, the ski club was established to improve the profile of these remote, former lead mining communities, and provide the local communities with an affordable and social activity during the winter months.
Skiing & snowboarding
Real snow is for suckers. For everyone else, there's Newmilns Sports Complex, offering skiing, snowboarding, tubing and sledging. You can take one of their Learn to Ski In A Day courses, and there's a Ladies Night every Wednesday.
Newmilns was established to help improve the poor health of the East Ayrshire community by providing them access to an affordable sports facility, as well as providing activities for young people, helping to reduce drug abuse and crime.
There's a lot going on at this Edinburgh arts hub, from regular exhibitions to music nights to a monthly table tennis event. They also do workshops where you can learn how to sew and make jewellery, and open days where you can invade the resident artists' personal space.
Check out their up and coming events on their website.
Weekly workshops, holiday courses
PACE Youth Theatre, based in Paisley, runs weekly drama workshops, as well as holiday courses, for anyone aged 3-21. The workshops aim to increase communication skills, confidence and self expression, as well as performance skills. The PACE team is committed to making their classes as accessible as possible and they offer concession and bursary places.
Accommodation and events
Portsoy Community Enterprise is driven by the enthusiasm and passion of volunteers who bring together an array of assets, events and offerings, which keep alive the ingrained heritage and cultures of the north east of Scotland. They offer events, festivals, boat building and stay experiences for families and accommodation.
Live music, foodie fest, Highland games and more
If you've never been to Sruighlea, Stirling’s Summer Festival before, you need to make sure it’s on your to-do list in summer 2019! Sruighlea is growing into one of central Scotland’s most popular outdoor events, showcasing a variety of things to see, do, taste and take part in. Your festival experience includes the Stirling Highland Games, Activities Challenges, Food & Drink Festival, Heritage Walking Tour, Fringe performances and live music in the evening.
By attending this festival, run by FVSE CIC, you're helping the social enterprise continue to support young people.
Climbing, skating and indoor fun
As a modern social enterprise, Transition Extreme uses urban sports and their cultures to attract and engage the local youth population. It opened it's doors in 2007, and has a variety of facilities for the local community in Aberdeen. Offering an indoor climbing wall, skate park, cafe, recreational space, learning zone, martial arts and meeting facilities, there's something for everyone.
Cooking and growing
YOU CAN COOK is a training provider and organises cookery classes, demonstrations and workshops on nutrition and food related issues all over Scotland. They customise all their services to suit clients needs and provide all the cooking tools and equipment and travel to you. They support organisations to build growing projects and leave them with a legacy that is sustainable. They've already helped countless companies, organisations and communities through their tailored courses and demonstrations.
food & drink
Ethical eateries around Scotland.
The White House Kitchen is a community café and venue run by the Community Alliance Trust for the benefit of the Greater Craigmillar Neighbourhoods. Housed in a beautifully refurbished Art Deco Roadhouse, the café has a healthy, affordable food, prepared on the premises using local produce and supplemented from their own garden where possible.
They also have venue hire and office space available suitable for everything from tea dances to board meetings.
Breadshare are a community supported bakery based in Portobello, Edinburgh. Their mission is to serve and involve the community by making excellent, nutritious bread using organic ingredients and distinctive local products, helping to create a more sustainable and health-enhancing food system.
They aim to make real bread more accessible to everyone. Be sure to check out their flagship cafe in Portobello.
Featuring hearty breakfasts, home baking and craft beers, the Glad Cafe in Pollokshaws is a hidden gem. They also have an evening venue featuring live music, comedy nights, arts exhibitions and more. They operate as a community hub with the social purpose of bringing local people together.
As well as operating a community café and woodwork and tartan social enterprises, the Grassmarket Community Project offers a range of social integration and educational activities for members aimed at enhancing life skills and developing confidence. These include cookery and baking classes, art, drama, IT, reading and writing, sewing, photography, tartan and woodwork.
A homely cafe with local food, hand baked cakes, an event space and a wonderful bike workshop all in one! Fully equipped workshop space provides all the tools you need to fix up your own bike and fully tailored bike mechanic classes as well. They run support groups to build confidence and a Bike Academy to train up the next generation of young mechanics.
Giraffe on South Street in Perth is a treasure trove of gifts, trinkets, plants and a lovely little cafe serving refreshments and freshly cooked food throughout the day.
Their plant range is supplied from their own garden centre at the Ladeside in Perth – grown and maintained by their jobseekers! There are trees, herbs and flowers of many types and sizes to choose from and all at very reasonable prices.
And many more...
Are you ready to #LiveSocial?
There are hundreds of social enterprise cafes, restaurants and bars across Scotland, so we've only included a handful here. If you'd like a particular enterprise added to this list, please do get in touch below.
About Social investment scotland (SIS)
Social Investment Scotland (SIS)
We're a charity and social enterprise that provides affordable loans to other charities, social enterprises and community groups. Since 2001 we’ve invested over £60 million in over 300 organisations across Scotland, and we continue to manage the largest social enterprise fund in the country. Check out our website for more information.
Looking for a loan?
Whether you need a small loan of £10,000 to buy equipment, or over £1 million to build an office, we have something for everyone. So if you want to increase your social impact, don't hesitate to get in touch with us - we'd love to hear from you.