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  • Social Entrepreneur Index

Retailers sought for SIS Retail Academy

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is calling on retailers to support this year’s SIS Retail Academy, which aims to help social enterprises scale up their businesses and increase the availability of ethical products on shelves.

Alastair Davis, CEO of SIS and Alan Mahon, Founder of Brewgooder

Developed by SIS, in partnership with Asda and supported by the Scottish Government, the SIS Retail Academy offers a select group of social enterprises an intensive programme of support and advice to help them propel their products to a wider market of socially-conscious consumers.

Taking place on 29 to 31 May, the Academy is, this year, on the hunt for forward-thinking retailers to come on-board for the two-day event.

Interested retailers from a variety of sectors including grocery, fashion, drinks and tourism are invited to provide their opinions on the products, which would sell best among their customers.

Following a selection process conducted by SIS, participating retailers will be invited to attend a pitching session on Friday 31 May, where each social enterprise will pitch its products.

Retailers will be encouraged to provide their expert feedback and help those organisations to refine their pitches for future product listing opportunities. Retailers will also have the opportunity to continue their discussions with individual social enterprises and even offer a product listing in their stores, if desired.

Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: “Ethical products with a social purpose are in much greater demand among consumers across the country. Our SIS Retail Academy offers retailers an invaluable opportunity to connect with social enterprises, share their expertise and meet that demand. For our social enterprises, it is a unique opportunity to learn from a group of retailers with considerable experience of what it takes, as a supplier, to succeed in such a highly competitive industry.

“We’ve seen the benefits of this Academy first hand, not just through the social enterprises who secured listings with Asda, but also through other attendees who have used the experience to significantly refine, develop and build their businesses. I would urge any interested retailers to get in touch for further information on how they can get involved.”

Since the inaugural Academy took place in 2016, both Brewgooder and Heroes Drinks have received national listings with Asda, significantly increasing the size and scale of their operations, allowing them to create deeper, more sustainable social impacts.

Polly Jones, Corporate Affairs Manager, Asda said: “The SIS Retail Academy has a been a great way for Asda to throw our weight behind the growing social enterprise movement, while discovering new products which we’ve been able to introduce to our stores across the UK. By harnessing the power of our retail experience and expertise, alongside our store estate and online shopping division, we can help social enterprises to access the large retail market whilst providing our customers with better access to ethical products.”

Interested retailers have until Thursday 28th February to get in touch for further information. For more details please contact Lindsay Wake at Social Investment Scotland on 0131 558 7706 or



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