Firstport launches search for Scotland’s social innovators

firsport call for social innovators

Delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport, as part of the Scottish Government’s 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy, the Social Innovation Competition will offer three £5000 prizes along with tailored business support to the most exciting, innovative ideas tackling social issues.

The Social Innovation Competition – which opened for applications 9 August – celebrates and supports individuals and start up companies in Scotland that are using their creativity and imagination to solve pressing social issues, focusing on culture, heritage and tourism seeing as Scotland is celebrating the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Making a difference to the community

The winners, including one young social innovator, will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Scottish Parliament in November and receive £5000 alongside support from Firstport, Scotland’s agency for start up social entrepreneurs and social enterprise.

Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “The Social Innovation Competition is an exciting opportunity for anyone developing a new product or service that is tackling a social issue to get recognition and support to move it forward. We hope people all over Scotland will realise and appreciate how social innovations have massively improved the way we live our lives and think about they can make a difference to their own communities”.

‘More than 200 new start-ups every year”

Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, said: “Social entrepreneurs are driven by an overriding passion to improve local communities as well as the world in which we live. Therefore I am delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting Firstport’s Social Innovation Competition.

“There are already more than 5,000 social enterprises operating the length and breadth of Scotland, with more than 200 new start-ups every year. Competitions like this not only encourage the creation of more social enterprises, they contribute to making us a more innovative, fair and equal country.”

The winners of last year’s inaugural Social Innovation Competition were Studio Pop(Young Social Innovator), Pianos on Prescription and Gold Handmade Footwear.


Firstport will be holding a series of information sessions around the country, including Stirling, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow, over the next two months. Visit www.firstport.org.uk/programmes/socialinnovation for more information. Applications close on Monday 9 October.