On April 10, a seminar on the eco-development of social enterprises in China and Scotland took place in Beijing’s Yuan En Space. Around 90 social enterprise experts and representatives from both countries, as well as some investors and governmental officials from China, attended the seminar to witness the launch of the Social Enterprise Academy in Beijing. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon, also showed up as special guest and cut the ribbon for the launching ceremony.
Zhang Jufang, the director of the Capacity Building and Assessment Center, delivered a welcome address as a representative of the Chinese side of the Social Enterprise Academy. Whereafter, Nicola Sturgeon gave the keynote speech on the introduction and history of the Social Enterprise Academy, which was established with the support of the Scottish government in 2004. Later on, it became a significant partner for Scottish social enterprises to lead the global development strategy.
The Scottish government has paid considerable attention to the great influence and value brought by social enterprises to the world. In the United Kingdom, there are more than 75,000 social enterprises with millions of employees having contributed more than 20 billion pounds to the British economy. Scotland’s Social Enterprise Academy has reached a strategic partnership with its Chinese partners to work together, helping Chinese social enterprises and experts to build their capacities and assisting in the construction of a support system for social enterprises.
Yuan Ruijun, the director of the Peking University Civil Society Research Center, has mentioned before that the increasing number of enterprises with an awareness of social responsibilities is a great opportunity for the transformation of enterprises into social enterprises. Market demand is accompanied by a surge in the demand for social services, which needs the joint efforts of a large number of enterprises and social enterprises to embrace the new wave of social enterprise development in China.