Media Release: RBS welcomes Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network

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THE Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is working to create close ties with social enterprises in Edinburgh, by inviting Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network (ESEN) member businesses to showcase their products and services at their headquarters in Gogarburn

A wide range of social enterprise businesses from community projects; arts, crafts and upcycling to environmental and sustainable foodie outlets and cafes will be represented on the HQ’s ‘street’, with 14 stall-holders attending this Wednesday 16 March.

Commenting on the collaboration, head of entrepreneurship, RBS and NatWest, Gordon Merrylees, said: “We are determined to do everything we can to support entrepreneurs and hosting a street fair in our HQ where social enterprise entrepreneurs can showcase their products to our staff – is just one of the many things we are doing to help start-up and early stage companies grow.

“We are already providing free office space to more than a hundred entrepreneurs in Gogarburn and are helping to build an entrepreneurial eco-system to ensure they get the expertise, mentoring, support, help and advice that are so crucial to their growth and success.”

Newly-appointed CEO at ESEN, Claire Pattullo, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to continue to promote our burgeoning social enterprise businesses in the city and highlight the benefits and impact of our ‘Buy the Good Stuff’ campaign.

“We have over 200 social enterprises in our membership and our autumn report, ‘Celebrate the good stuff’, noted that the contribution the social enterprise sector has made to the local economy has grown from £44 million to £120 million in just two years and is a business trend to watch.

“We have a full calendar of events and promotions coming up this year and this week’s event will give us a chance to spread the word a whole lot wider, working with the support of RBS.”

Founder of Upcycled World, Caroline Malcolm, said: “The learning, support and networking opportunities we have received from ESEN the past few months has been fantastic. The Social in the Street is another great example of ESEN helping us to connect and grow.

“We’ve heard very good things about the ‘Social in the Street’ at RBS, and we’re really excited to be part of the event. It’s a great opportunity for us to share our products and upcycling workshops with a new audience.

Rachael Weedon, enterprise manager, New Caledonian Woodlands, added: “As a small social enterprise, we are extremely grateful for events such as ‘Social in the Street’ taking place in Edinburgh.

“New Caledonian Woodlands have attended in the past and it has always been a fantastic way of collectively spreading our message of social and environmental change. We are very much looking forward to returning this week and meeting the new and exciting organisations starting up around the city.”

Stall-holders include: WHALE Arts; Tiphereth; One World Shop; Hadeel; Upcycled World;    Grassmarket Community Project; New Caledonian Woodland; Punjabi Junction; Big Issue and Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network.


For Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network information contact:
Claire Pattullo E:
Mobile: 07940 512110

For further press information contact:
Fiona Stewart/Interwoven PR/E:
Mobile: 07940 560453

Notes to editors:

The Street is a central area within RBS Gogarburn where small businesses can showcase their products and services to the employees and related businesses.

Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network (ESEN) is the membership network for social enterprises in Edinburgh. Established in 2005, the network now has 105 members and a further 100 social enterprises on its books. ESEN provides a range of services to social enterprises including: one-to-one support, networking, information and signposting, promotion and representation. It is a partner in Edinburgh’s Third Sector Interface.

‘Buy the Good Stuff’ is a call to action to the general public to consider how they shop around the city and can really make a difference by purchasing from social enterprises. Over 200 social enterprises are trading in Edinburgh, from cafes and retail, to creative industries and leisure generating income and reinvesting their profits into the community for social or environmental benefits.

What is social enterprise? Social enterprise is a way of doing business that benefits the community, society or the environment. Social enterprises must reinvest all of their profits into their social or environmental aims and many also achieve their aims through the way that they run their business, for example by employing people who might otherwise find it difficult to find a job. Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network uses the criteria for social enterprise set out in the Social Enterprise Code (

The most common legal models for social enterprises are: Companies Ltd by Guarantee, Companies Ltd by Guarantee with Charitable Status, Charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs).

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Contact: Fiona Stewart
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