Starting in October 2021, a series of 6 leadership and social entrepreneurship programmes will support up to 84 refugees across Scotland to become leaders within their communities.

We have partnered with the Social Enterprise Academy, which delivers innovative programmes that empower people in Scotland and around the world to step up and effect social change.

This exciting collaboration will empower refugees living in Scotland to step forward as future leaders, to create thriving communities and strengthen civil society. It will develop participant’s strategic leadership skills, provide them with tools to achieve social impact and offer a compassionate environment to support one another on their journey.

The programmes will invite learners to complete an accreditation. The News Scots Leadership programme also offers the opportunity to progress directly into Edinburgh Napier University’s BA in Business and Enterprise at third year level.

This unique and timely series of programmes are made possible thanks to Glasgow Communities Fund and support from the Scottish Government.


Elsa Vibert, Programme Officer at the Social Enterprise Academy said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Scottish Refugee Council! It will be our pleasure to work with and support talented people from all background to be key players in their communities. This exciting partnership will provide participant’s with the tools to shape their future, building on learners existing leadership strengths and empowering them to play a proactive role in civil society.”


Reza Karimi – Community Development Officer at the Scottish Refugee Council said:

“The old saying “nothing about us without us” still rings true today, particularly in the current climate —people who have been affected by the refugee crisis know first-hand what can help address it. Having worked with a large number of Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs) across Scotland, I know first-hand the wealth of lived experience, expertise and knowledge that new Scots bring to these communities. Supporting people from refugee backgrounds to become leaders is key in strengthening civil society.

“So, it goes without saying that I could not be more excited about this partnership with Social Enterprise Academy! The Academy and Scottish Refugee Council share the same values and more importantly, a strong desire to enable the integration of refugees into Scottish cultural, social and civic life. Central to this shared mission is for refugees to become active in their communities. Civil society organisations are commonplace in Scotland; but not every country has a culture of enabling people to step up as community leaders and make an impact.

“It will be my pleasure to support a group of talented and inspiring fellow refugees, as they embark on their leadership journey.”


How to apply

Applications are now open to people with lived experience of the refugee and asylum system, as well as people working within communities and organisations that support refugees.

To apply or find out more about the 1-day programmes, please visit:

To apply or find out more about the 12-day New Scots Leadership programme, please visit:

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah