This week we celebrate 9 years of trading at The Melting Pot – Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation.  This excludes the 2.5 years of largely volunteer based development work done before we opened the premises, now so well known, used and loved.

During that time, we’ve learned how to set up and run a business.

We do product and service design and delivery, marketing, sales, financial management, RnD, HR, team recruitment and development, strategic & operational planning, monitoring and evaluation and much more.

But apparently, we cannot be judged as ‘a business’ in a national Entrepreneurs Awards, when up against other ‘real businesses’. This is because they cannot judge the entrepreneurs leading a ‘non-profit’ against a ‘for profit’ entrepreneur. Apparently this will change next year… This feedback is reminiscent of a similar conversation on BBC Radio Scotland we were involved in recently.

The key issues which differentiate any business are – if you excel in your field, if you’re profit making and distributing, and what do you do with those profits when you’ve earned them.

However, we’ve also become a finalist in the Social Entrepreneur’s Awards this year – so we will be judged amongst our peers by people who ‘get it’.

We have more in common with the 99% of micro businesses (0-9 employees) that make up the UKs economy, than we do with a Public sector department, or an SME (10-249 employees).

For all those people with ‘good Ideas for a better world’ – take heart, and dive off the deep end with a little help. Join us this autumn on our new round of our ‘social innovation incubation programme’ now revamped and called the Good Ideas Academy.

Together we can build effective organisations that change the world for the better, and challenge the idea that ‘business is bad’. Capitalism is the dominant economic system throughout the world – so let’s win at winning in and through business, and build an economy that delivers Inclusive Growth.