Assist Social Capital CIC (ASC)

Assist Social Capital CIC (ASC)

At a glance


  • Environment
  • Financial inclusion
  • International development
  • Local / community
  • Training / employment support

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Assist Social Capital Community Interest Company (ASC) was set up in 2004. Originally a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable status, in January 2013 ASC became the first Scottish Charity to change its status to a Community Interest Company, enabling it to maintain its status as a social enterprise while adopting a more entrepreneurial approach.

ASC acts as a bridge between the academic evidence for social capital and its practical applications. ASC’s services identify, articulate and operationalize social capital in practice that then act as a ‘force multiplier’, enabling communities (of place, practice or profession) and organisations to become more resilient and to respond with confidence and competence to the challenges facing them in ways that are sustainable over the long-term.

ASC works to advance knowledge and understanding of the value and mechanisms of social capital, promote examples of best practice and facilitate their application to support communities and organisations to tackle their collective problems, so improving their quality of life.  Following on from that the companies key objectives are to:

  • Increase the understanding of social capital
  • Provide a range of services and products to assist the use of social capital
  • Increase the number of organisations implementing social capital policies
  • Increase the stock of social capital in Scotland through the above


ASC focuses on evaluation, policy, and delivery of projects and activities that promote social capital, such as social enterprise and public participation. We are involved in environment, health and wellbeing and lifelong learning. ASC works with government agencies, research institutes and civil society organisations in Scotland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, South America, Africa and Vietnam. Since 2011, through the work in UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme, ASC has led a working group and hosted international events on the importance of the socioeconomic aspect of engaging local communities in the efforts to protect their natural environment. As a result, Colin Campbell, Executive Director of ASC established a global thematic network on social enterprise in BRs. This led to the inclusion of social enterprise, social entrepreneurship and sustainable public procurement to the new 10-year Lima Action Plan for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves that was agreed at the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima in March 2016. As part of this work ASC developed OASIIS (Opening Access to Sustainable Independent Income Streams) an online platform to enable BRs to make the socioeconomic impact of the businesses that align with their work visible and to use this as a route to new investment opportunities. The online platform was launched in Lima in March 2016. Since then 15 BRs from 11 countries in 4 continents have registered.

This year, 2017, ASC has launched a new online impact evaluation tool called U>P (Unlocking Potential), which uses social capital as a common metric to produce robust, credible evidence on social impact and performance to determine if desired outcomes have been achieved. 

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