Self-sustaining – how Social Enterprises in the Borders are adopting a growth mindset

An innovative group of social enterprises in the Scottish Borders have begun to take a more agile approach to sustainability and growth.

The first step on their journey was a vibrant, interactive workshop at the Eyemouth Hippodrome in February. A group of 10 different SE’s worked together to explore how they could each generate robust revenue streams, and thrive without having to rely on grants.


Facilitated by Edinburgh-based innovation company Proposition Builder (Prop B), the SE’s worked their way through a set of challenging and thought-provoking exercises, including:

  • Identifying and focusing on a core target audience

  • Customer needs and challenges

  • Value Proposition…why should customers choose you, what sets you apart?

  • Stretch & Build…being able to articulate your offer


By taking a more commercial approach to their businesses, the delegates are aiming to create a diverse and balanced range of income sources. Not necessarily to replace grant income completely, but to reduce or even remove their reliance on it. 

Karen Birch, from Abundant Borders commented “I was expecting marketing “fluff”, but being able to properly articulate our proposition felt like a weight off my shoulders”.

The workshop was hosted by Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway Borders, in partnership with Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber.