Evidence of a new economy is emerging and Scotland is leading the charge to help it grow. Last month saw a number of landmark achievements that turned the rhetoric of a new economy into reality.
Social or “impact” investing is growing. Once a niche, this sector is now large and diverse: from microfinance – estimated to be worth approximately $8.2 billion in 2009 (1), to low-carbon finance – which HSBC predicts will reach $2.2 trillion by 2020. The opportunity for making money from a product or service that delivers social, as well as financial value, is growing every day. Could impact investment become the norm rather than a niche?
Social media has changed everything. Global brands now have an opportunity to engage with customers at a grassroots level, increase brand loyalty, and help solve some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges. It’s also smart business. 84% of consumers are more likely to buy brands that give something back to the community. Local-level social enterprise is a great way for big brands to engage with their customers.
And if you’re not doing it, you’re missing out.
Peter Holbrook is the CEO of Social Enterprise UK. He’s hungry for social and environmental justice and believes that social enterprise provides one of our very best hopes. In our inaugural interview with leaders in the new economy, Peter applauds the irrepressible passion of the social enterprise movement.