How a social enterprise supporting vulnerable people is sustaining itself – with Jonny Kinross

Podcast - Jonny Kinross - interview

“The trouble with being successful is you’re in demand.” When Jonny Kinross took the helm as CEO of Grassmarket Community Project, the Edinburgh-based social enterprise worked with around 70 people each year. Now that figure is around 500.

With a background in social work, Jonny set up a social enterprise 12 years ago before joining – and “totally falling in love with” – the Grassmarket Community Project, which gives people the opportunity to contribute more to society.

Grassmarket Community Project runs catering, woodwork, textiles and tartan businesses and engagement activities to support vulnerable people. Its turnover has increased from £300,000 to £1.2m in the last few years.

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How has the Covid-19 crisis affected how it delivers its services? And how will it sustain its work now and for the future?

Heidi finds out in this episode, in which Jonny covers:

  • How the organisation is sustaining itself financially by figuring out what it can safely do and what it can afford to do
  • Flexibility and adapting to unexpected events
  • How Grassmarket has grown by focusing on supporting people and generating profit to support its social objectives
  • Future plans – including building a three-quarter-million-pound extension
  • And super tips for other social entrepreneurs about funding, decision making, and accessing advice

What next?

  • Enjoyed the podcast? Listen to other episodes here
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  • And if you are interested in being interviewed and are from an existing social enterprise creating a proven impact, please contact presenter Heidi Fisher at Make An Impact CIC