Ingrid Webb, COPE Ltd CEO speaks at the Social Enterprise World Forum 2018

COPE Ltd Senior management team were privileged to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum 2018 in Edinburgh last week. The team were supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to attend the three-day forum.

Ingrid Webb, Chief Executive Officer of COPE who was an invited speaker at the global event to talk about finding and creating market opportunities, discussed her experiences of building and implementing an internationalisation plan for the Shetland Soap Company supported by HIE. Ms Webb said ‘’although we are a small enterprise in the Shetland Islands, we are very much part of a global community of social enterprises, and my experience at SEWF has been transformational. It is an experience which changes your perceptions and challenges you in a way that no other event of its kind can. The experience of networking and collaborating with other social enterprise leaders has changed the way I think about our social enterprise.”

She added “It was inspiring and humbling at the same time to have such a huge number of knowledgeable leaders of the social enterprise sector together in one place, sharing what they're doing around the world to create change in their communities. The SEWF 2018 was a deep learning experience; you find sparks of ideas, opportunities and business models that you’ve perhaps never ever considered.’’

The Social Enterprise World Forum is an event for global practitioners, academics, investors and governments interested in social enterprise to come together to look at what's happening in the world and how they can collaborate to progress the social enterprise movement.

Gerry Higgins, CEO, CEIS, who founded the Social Enterprise World Forum, commented: “Since organising the first event in Edinburgh in 2008 we could see there was a real passion to establish social enterprise as a viable business model for non-profits looking for sustainability and entrepreneurs seeking to create businesses that benefit society. Visitors to SEWF 2018 engaged with our unique Scottish and UK social enterprise scene, where social enterprises and government work together to tackle inequality, build healthy communities and create vibrant local economies.”

The organisers of the 2018 event welcomed 1,400 delegates from 47+ countries to Edinburgh.