Social enterprises given ‘golden opportunity’ to pitch to UK brands

06/02/2023
Kieran Daly (SIS)

A THREE-day retail bootcamp led by responsible finance provider, Social Investment Scotland (SIS), will give social enterprises a chance to meet with and pitch to national retailers next month.

Impact-led brands with products, services or experiences to sell are invited to join the Retail for Change programme which runs from 15-17 March. The online bootcamp will see some of UK’s most forward-thinking brands supporting social enterprises to find customers, understand new trends and most importantly explore aligning themselves with national brands who share the same values.

Retail for Change brings speakers from all over the world to share their expertise. On the final day, social enterprises will have an opportunity to pitch to national buyers and experts from brands including Dobbies Garden Centres and Asda, giving the social enterprises a chance to have their products sold in national retail outlets, hotels and win service contracts. Historic Environment Scotland’s on-site and online gift shops will also be represented, giving the social enterprises a chance to have their products sold in national retail outlets. 

Bootcamp participants will also be invited to apply to join the eBay for Change programme – an initiative which helps social enterprises to set up and scale up their products, services, or experiences through eBay. By joining the programme, they will have zero seller fees for 12 months and access to an online hub to connect with eBay’s 20 million customers.

Kieran Daly, head of market building at Social Investment Scotland, added: “Research continues to show that today’s consumers want to buy from responsible businesses.  However, adapting to opportunities that require growth in a challenging market, remains a big challenge for social enterprises who often need some extra help and advice to help them tap into those captive consumer markets. 

“The Retail for Change bootcamp will offer valuable coaching and advice, as well as a golden opportunity to pitch to leading UK retailers. Hopefully it leads to fruitful commercial relationships that will increase the number of impact-led products in shopping baskets across the UK.”

Claire Fairgrieve, buyer with Historic Environment Scotland, commented: “We’re excited to join forces with SIS on this project, to see what exciting new and inspiring products and opportunities the participants bring along. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to get involved.”  

Chris Gale, eBay UK’s head of social impact, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Retail for Change programme to offer pathways onto eBay for Change. Over the last two years, we have worked with 250 social enterprises to support them to develop their e-commerce business and we are excited to continue to grow the programme in 2023.” 

In previous years The Goodwash Company, Shetland Soap Company, The Blankfaces and Social Stories Club, among others, have successfully pitched to buyers and found their products on major retailers’ shelves.

To apply for the bootcamp, visit: https://www.socialinvestmentscotland.com/learning-hub/learn-more-about-our-2023-bootcamp/

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