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Quebec Socent Visitors 27 April 22I

Canadian delegation visits Kintyre

Published: 29/04/2022

A delegation of Canadian officials has been visiting Kintyre this week to find out more about Scotland’s approach to developing social enterprise.

The group on a visit to Machrihanish

A delegation of Canadian officials has been visiting Kintyre this week to find out more about Scotland’s approach to developing social enterprise.

The group included representatives from the Quebec government, different national and regional sector support agencies, and social enterprises in the province.

The focus of the trip was on how Scotland applies social enterprise to economic and community development and how it is supported. This will be used to inform development of current practice in Quebec.

Following briefing meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Scotland’s social enterprise policies and practices, delegates had study visits to Campbeltown and the Isle of Gigha.

On Wednesday they visited the Machrihanish Airbase Development Company (MACC), a community owned asset taking an innovative approach to new economic opportunities, for example the space sector.

On Thursday they travelled to Gigha to learn how 20 years of community ownership has benefited the island and the economy.

Mags McSporran, head of social enterprise development at HIE provided the group with an overview of the region’s approach to social and community development and the enterprises’ contribution to economic growth and regeneration. The visit showed how the contribution of social and community enterprise is making a difference in Kintyre.

Mags said:

“It’s been great to welcome our Canadian colleagues this week. Social enterprise plays an important role in Scotland’s economic development, as well as tackling social and environmental challenges.

“In our region particularly, they are extremely valuable in strengthening community resilience in rural areas. For these reasons Scotland is in many ways a leader in social enterprise practice and policy. It’s heartening to be able to share our approach and experiences with other parts of the world, while learning from our visitors’ experiences too, and hopefully help them progress their ambitions for their own social economy.”

Béatrice Alain, executive director of Chantier, an organisation that supports the development of social enterprises in Quebec, said:

“The strength and diversity of the Scottish ecosystem of support for social enterprises is comparable to that in Quebec, as are processes of coconstruction of effective policy with government and kinds of social issues that are being tackled through social entrepreneurship.

“Our delegation was particularly inspired by practices and policies aimed at facilitating community use of local assets and the expertise of developing social enterprise in rural communities. We look forward to continuing these exchanges to support the effective and strategic development of the social economy in Québec and in Scotland.”