3 March 2023

- Partnership highlights Rathbones’ commitment to supporting next generation leaders in tackling social and environmental challenges

- Joint study finds Scotland’s young entrepreneurs place business ethics and fair employment above more traditional business goals

- 91% of respondents said operating ethically and responsibly was a primary goal for their start-up idea and business activity

Rathbones Group Plc has partnered with Social Shifters to support the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in Scotland who are keen to inspire change in society.

Social Shifters is a UK non-profit organisation that helps innovators and entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental challenges. They do this through providing inspiring content, engaging learning experiences, and a global community of support.  

In a jointly commissioned study, Rathbones Investment Management, a division of Rathbones Group Plc, and Social Shifters conducted their Youth Social Entrepreneurship study, polling over 1,000 young innovators and entrepreneurs in Scotland. The study explores the attitudes, experiences, and needs of young entrepreneurs, shining a light on the ‘social shift’ they see happening in society.

According to the research, Scotland’s young entrepreneurs are placing business ethics, fair employment, innovation, improving social and environmental circumstances above the desire of more traditional goals, such as making money. The majority of respondents (91%) said operating ethically and responsibly was a primary goal for their start-up idea and business activity. 83% said that improving society was a primary goal for them, while 75% said it was improving and protecting the environment. Other important goals for young entrepreneurs included supporting the local community (71%) and being a fair employer (87%). This is driving new forms of cause-driven business and social enterprise activity.

A passion for important world issues is also reflected in the views of Scotland’s young entrepreneurs. When asked to choose their top concerns, respondents most frequently reported the threat posed by climate change (59%). Widespread concern relating to the prospects for the economy, education, rising inequality and other social injustices, also were prominent areas of concern.

Alongside the partnership, Rathbones Group Plc has sponsored Social Shifters in their Global Innovation Challenge, to support next generation leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs (18 - 30 years) with fresh solutions to today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. As part of this, Rathbones has supported in judging and mentoring the projects submitted as part of the challenge.

Angus Kerr, Head of Scotland at Rathbones Investment Management, says “At Rathbones, we are proud of the role we play in our local communities and jumped at the opportunity to join forces with Social Shifters to work together to support the next generation of leaders in the Scottish entrepreneurial marketplace.  

Partnering with Social Shifters aligns with our values as an organisation: being empathetic and understanding each generation’s changing priorities, being courageous and resilient to stand up for what's right and being responsible in our approach to entrepreneurship. The results of the study have given us real insight into what tomorrow’s leaders really value and where Rathbones can support them to inspire change in Scotland and beyond.”

David Haddow, Co-founder at Social Shifters, says “Partnering with Rathbones is a great asset to our organisation, and we hugely value their expertise and mentorship when it comes to supporting entrepreneurship and community projects. We strive to give young people the platform they need to kick start their ideas and elevate their voice, helping to facilitate change in wider society. We hope our collective work can help achieve our shared goal to support young entrepreneurs to build their business visions that have positive impacts on society.”



Media enquiries:
For more information, please contact Eleanor Ross, Olivia Nelson or Niamh Carson at Teamspirit:  rathbones@teamspiritpr.com


On behalf of Social Shifters and Rathbones, Social Value Lab surveyed a sample of 1,022 young innovators and entrepreneurs in Scotland. Survey responses were collected from July to September 2022, providing a balanced cross-section of the views of young entrepreneurs at different stages in their entrepreneurial journey

About Social Shifters

Social Shifters is a global nonprofit helping the next generation of young leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to tackle the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues in new ways. We do this through providing inspiration, engaging learning experiences, and access to a global community of support.