Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Edinburgh tourism business wins national innovation competition

An Edinburgh-based ethical tourism business has scooped an award in a national competition. The Social Innovation Competition, delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport, celebrates individuals and start up companies in Scotland using their creativity and imagination to solve pressing social issues, focusing in 2017 on the themes of culture, heritage and tourism.

Scotland’s Social Way is an enterprise which aims to make visiting Scotland a world-changing experience. It will create the first countrywide map of opportunities provided by social and community enterprises, allowing ethical travellers to buy products and services that positively impact the community, with a strong focus on rural areas of Scotland.

Founder Maria Perez was presented with the Social Innovation award by Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, at a reception held in the Scottish Parliament last night (Tuesday 7 November).

Tain Picture House Regeneration Project also won an award while the Young Social Innovator Award went to Jennifer Macdonald of Woodside Arran. All three winners receive £5000 each and tailored business support from social enterprise development agency Firstport.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “Scotland is renowned around the world as a country of inventions and innovators, from scientific breakthroughs to engineering masterpieces to cultural successes.

“Supported by the Scottish Government, Firstport launched a search for the next generation of Scottish social innovators who have the potential to make a real difference to their communities. Our brief was to find the most exciting, innovative ideas tackling social issues and we were very impressed with the quality of entries from the length and breadth of Scotland.”

“The winners of last year’s inaugural competition – Pianos on Prescription, Ecco Shoes and Studio Pop – have gone onto expand their enterprises and win awards in the past 12 months. Huge congratulations to our 2017 winners – we look forward to supporting them on the next stage of their journey.”

The Social Innovation Competition awards were presented as part of the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2017. Full details at

Image courtesy of Firstport