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Showcasing Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector


Showcasing Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector


Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Showcasing Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector


Showcasing Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Back to full programme

Innovative solutions to Scotland's most pressing social issues


Tuesday 7 November
Time slot
This event took place 5 months ago
Pentland auditorium
Wheelchair accessible
Carmen Paputa-Dutu
Environment Funding & fundraising
Overall aim
  • Highlight the importance of social innovation and social enterprise in addressing complex, deep-rooted challenges
  • Share learning from the 2022 and 2023 Social Innovation Challenge winners
  • Start the conversations around what the theme of the 2024 edition should be

Every year, the Social Innovation Challenge funds and supports innovators to kick-start solutions that tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Managed by Firstport, Scotland's agency for start-up social entrepreneurs, on behalf of the Scottish Government, the programme is centred around a different theme each year. The winner of each edition is awarded £50,000 and a bespoke package of support to help them launch and implement their solution.

Join us for this motivating session to hear more from the winners of the most recent two editions:

  • 2022 – Climate change challenges faced by rural communities in Scotland: The Iona Heat Network is a community-led project which aims to decarbonise the heat supply on the island of Iona, alleviating fuel poverty and helping residents move away from fossil fuels.
  • 2023 - Addressing the rising cost of living: ApparelXchange is a social enterprise dedicated to reusing, repairing and recycling childrenswear that will aim to create a clothing system for the city of Glasgow, with a shared wardrobe to reduce the financial burden on families and the carbon impact of clothing on the environment. 

During this session, you will learn more about the drivers behind these innovative social enterprises, their vision for the future, the challenges that they have overcome and key pieces of advice for social entrepreneurs looking to make big impact in the world. The presentations will be followed by an interactive Q&A session.

As each edition is built on research and public engagement, at the end of the session, there will be an opportunity to feed into the 2024 theme of the Social Innovation Challenge through a hands-on voting exercise.

Who was the event aimed at?


Who spoke at this event?
Carmen Paputa-Dutu, Social Innovation Challenge Programme Manager at Firstport

Shiona Ruhemann, Iona Heat Network Project Lead at Iona Energy Ltd
Izzie Eriksen, Founding Director at ApparelXchange CIC
Brought to you by
Platinum sponsor
Keegan & Pennykid
Gold sponsors
The Access Group
Social Print & Copy
Vodafone Business
Strategic partners
Social Enterprise Scotland
Volunteer Scotland
Local host partner