Business Services | Forth Sector Development

Developing a social enterprise can be challenging, but support from people who have been there can make all the difference. Our experience, as part of Forth Sector, one of Scotland's pioneering social enterprises, can help you develop into a successful social business. We've helped over 350 social enterprises develop - why not see what we can do for you.


Starting or developing social enterprise activity, like any business, is an exciting and demanding task. Although there are a range of business planning guides and templates available few if any are tailored to social enterprise activity. Our business planning guide has received excellent feedback from organizations throughout the UK and beyond.

Continually developing your business is essential to succeed in today's competitive market and deliver social aims effectively. You may have operated with some success within an internal market and wish to expand or with traditional funding sources fading, increased trading income may be essential for survival.

We offer direct, practical and if required hands on support for every stage of the business planning process or to help you diversify or move into new markets. This support may include:


  • Feasibility
  • Sourcing funding for exploration, start up or growth.
  • Sales and Marketing – from building your strategy to managing marketing communications.

Forth Sector Development has experience working with funders, local authorities, national government and a host of organisations similar to yours. We are well placed to provide you with the help you need to get a new project off the ground or take an existing project to the next level.


We can add significant value as part of the Forth Sector Group which has 20 years experience of starting and operating social businesses. We can facilitate access to that experience and expertise, whether it is to replicate a business or gain valuable input from the senior management team. Forth Sector’s model of sustainable social enterprise development and employability continues to attract interest from and collaboration with organizations from around the world.

Demonstrating the potential impact of any project to funders, potential public sector customers and the people the project aims to support is vital and can be challenging and complex. Forth Sector Development has experience of working with major funders including social investors. We have gained a valuable insight into what is required for community groups, social firms, social enterprises, charities and others to secure funding. We have assisted a number of organisations source and secure funding and we can do the same for you.


We can work with you, developing your idea so it meets the expectations of funders. Our team are able to help you develop your project outcomes, and we can offer guidance on community consultation. We can also help you build Full Cost Recovery into any application, and help you identify appropriate funding options.

Forth Sector Development can provide training on a range of areas including Business Planning, Procurement and Tendering, Introduction to SROI, Finance and Marketing. We've worked with a range of organisations to deliver tailored training for staff, board and service users on social enterprise and business development. If you have a particular training need, we can help.


Training sessions are bespoke, meaning that we tailor content to meet your exact needs. We can provide the training either at your choice of venue or at our own training facilities. We can access expertise from within Forth Sector Development or from Forth Sector Senior Management team.