The voluntary sector has been given a £7m boost with the launch of two programmes intended to help organisations grow and operate more efficiently.
A new £3m programme, called Just Enterprise, is designed to provide business support to social entrepreneurs and third-sector organisations in Scotland. It will set up an online hub through which organisations can find help.
A further £4m is being provided through the Enterprise Growth Fund. The money comprises grants of £25,000 - £200,000 for "enterprising" third-sector organisations deemed to have the most sustainable and ambitious business plans.
Finance Secretary John Swinney launched the programmes at the offices of Specialisterne in Glasgow, a social enterprise with its roots in Denmark, which trains people with autism. The organisation is building the online access point for both programmes.
Mr Swinney said: "These two new programmes will work closely together to make sure that the organisations we fund benefit from appropriate business support. This complements the help available from economic development agencies in Scotland such as Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Business Gateway.
Scottish Enterprise's Jim McFarlane said: "The new programmes will complement the services we, and our partners, currently provide to growing social enterprises. By encouraging and supporting the third sector, we can develop this part of our economy and strengthen Scotland's economic future."
Duncan Thorp, of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, said: "The contract will help support our ambitious social enterprise entrepreneurs to build a stronger sector, delivering greater social and economic benefit for everyone.
"We are also pleased about the new Enterprise Growth Fund, a much-needed boost for organisations that demonstrate potential for growth and sustainability."