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28 Nov 2014

            An hour into the mountains behind the Costa del Sol – the fortress town of Ronda – its history and romance – represents to me the ‘soul’ of Andalucia. I’m lucky to have old friends who live there – in the barrio San Francisco – where we lunched last week. The barrio is outside the southern walls of the old city – on the edge of the countryside. It’s like a village in its own right – great wee shops, bars, restaurants. I drive up the hill early – spend some time wandering around old haunts; but it’s not actual places we revisit; don’t you think it’s nostalgia for the younger self we once were – now gone forever; not sure how useful this is.

            It’s great seeing my friends again – hearing each other’s stories; nothing memorable about the restaurant or food – a sunlit terrace up a side street in the barrio; ‘menu del dia’ for 10 euros – but I’m left with a vivid memory of our waitress. Rosa is a plump woman, around 40 – not noticeably pretty; but with an amazing smile that lights up her whole face – lights up each table she visits; I feel constantly drawn to her ‘presence’. When paying the bill – with my friend translating – I thank her for her joyful smile – how generously she shares it – and ask the source of her joyfulness. Blushing slightly, she tells us that she has been very lucky – grew up in a household full of love – that as a child she was much loved. Driving back down the mountain I reflect on Rosa’s words. Yes, I think – sometimes life is as beautifully simple as that.

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The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.


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The SENs: Friday 28th November 2014

Over the last couple of months a consultation process has been on going with regard to producing a SE Strategy for Scotland. This process began at the CEiS event in September and culminated at the recent SE Conference and Ceilidh Conference earlier this month. To date, over 400 people have contributed their thoughts and opinions on what should be our vision for SE in Scotland over the coming years. An initial draft Strategy document will be available early in the new year. Some of the themes that have been emerging are very much about building on what has been achieved over the last 10 years and include: building on existing markets – public/private sector and general public; building capacity and capability – through investment, business support etc; building on potential – via schools; universities; encouraging engagement of young people; and building the ‘movement’ – better evidence, influence and co-operation. If you have any bold/radical proposals to help SE in Scotland, there’s still time to contribute. If so, email them to Jonathan Coburn. Here are some pointers.

Congratulations to the Scottish Winners at the UK SE Awards in London on Wednesday - Kilsyth Community Market Garden t/a Kelvin Valley Honey won the Environmental SE award; and Firstport & Icecream Architecture picked up the Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award. See more on the awards.

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SENSCOT supporters
Senscot works closely with these social enterprise intermediaries: The development work of Senscot is also supported by the Scottish Government.

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