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SIS Retail Academy 2020

Are you a social entrepreneur, or part of a social enterprise team, with products, or services, impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?

Are you diversifying offerings, changing distribution channels and making the shift to online sales? Are you looking for guidance on how to navigate your marketplace post-COVID-19?

We are here to support you. This year we are taking our Retail Academy online for four days of learning from a whole host of carefully selected industry and sector experts and Retail Academy Alumni. Our speakers will share their expertise, top tips and commercial insights on how to maximise opportunities and adapt to an everchanging landscape.

A recent report by the British Retail Consortium (1) suggested that changes in consumers’ shopping habits over lockdown are here to stay, with online sales continuing to grow at a faster pace than sales in physical stores. While the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the role social enterprises can play in building an impact-driven economy, the Retail Academy aims to help you to embrace the opportunities of a changing marketplace.

Speaker spotlight

Margaret McSorley Walker is a recognised industry expert in the fields of product innovation and retail sales.

Margaret is currently Director of Scotch Cross and has decades of experience in leading product development for brands such as Greencore, McCain and Asda where she was Head of Innovation.

Margaret will help you identify current and future trends and demonstrate how tapping into them can be used to your advantage.

SIS Associate Rachael Brown, CEO Of Creative Entrepreneurs Club and Convenor of Scotland’s CAN DO collective, will host and facilitate the virtual programme.

Over four days, you will learn

  • How major retailers are anticipating digital retail will support the in-store experience
  • How to amplify your digital profile
  • How to tap into 2021/2022 retail trends – including customer appetite for convenience, safety and competitive pricing
  • How to take your product to market in the new world of retail

How to apply

  • Please complete and submit this online Expression of interest (EOI) form by 5PM on Thursday 1 October.
  • Places will be allocated throughout the EOI window and, after a follow-up phone call to understand your specific needs and interests.
  • This is the fourth Retail Academy for social enterprises and has been made possible through the generous support of the Scottish Government and Asda.


This FREE programme suits those who:

  • Are from a social enterprise based in Scotland*
  • Aspire to sell their products and services at scale, and those established trading enterprises looking to adapt to the changing commercial landscape
  • Have products developed, and ideally a trading history
  • Are open to taking on new learning and insight from experts in the field
  • Are committed to attending the full virtual programme (due to the confidential and sensitive business information shared, sessions will NOT be recorded).

*If you are a social enterprise based outside Scotland, and the programme is suitable for you, we would be delighted to welcome you to the Academy for a small charge. To explore your case in detail please contact

If you have any questions about the application process or the programme, please do not hesitate to contact the SIS team on

We wish you luck and hope to see you there!

1Source: BRC