Community Enterprise has been interested in the power of on-line technology for social enterprises. Our first venture was Run Native. We started Run Native to be a collective online marketplace that helped customers in Scotland and internationally to find ethical items, and to help ethical producers find customers. Each product has a story to tell and their very creation and sale had a powerful impact on people’s lives. The beautiful tartan items and bespoke furniture manufactured by the Grassmarket Community Project transforms the lives of people with severe disadvantage in Edinburgh. The massive variety of products in the One World Shop impact on communities and individuals across the developing world globally. From local to global, from communities of place to communities of interest, social enterprises are changing the world through the goods they produce.
We recognise that the Billions of pounds of consumer spend in Scotland alone, never mind the UK and internationally, if focussed on suppliers that re-invest in social change can change our communities for the better.
The site was successful and though we decided that a bigger e-venture was achievable, it did not fit with our core purpose. We started to seek more appropriate partners to take this forward. After discussions with lots of organisations, we have supported the growth and establishment of the Common Market operated by the Common Weal. As well as social enterprises it brings products to the general public that are “independent, local and ethical”. Many of the vendors from Run Native can now be found there.
The Common Market has launched for Christmas 2016. We wish them all the best and will endeavour to encourage as many social enterprises there as possible.