only search

29 Aug 2014

            In 1989 I visited the USA on a kind of paid study visit – 5 states in 5 weeks.  One of the housing ‘projects’ which hosted me was in Ferguson – the suburb of St Louis where trouble flared last week – following the police shooting of an unarmed black youth.  The most vivid and enduring memory I have of those 5 weeks – is the extent of the demoralisation of the black poor; I recorded my thoughts: “This is not like poverty in Scotland – it is of a different order; maybe it is our health service/social security; or the influence of Rabbie Burns and the Clydeside socialists – that has enabled Scotland’s poor to retain some dignity and defiance.  The poorest African Americans I meet here seem defeated in a way I’ve never seen before (slavery?).  If you’ve no money – you’re nothing!  If you get ill – you die.  The poor are despised.  The human spirit is crushed.”  I developed a loathing for the hypocrisy of ‘the American Dream’ – for the barbarism of neoliberal politics.

            Thatcher, and then New Labour, brought free market economics to the UK.  The ensuing 25 years has seen dysfunctional levels of inequality and economic crisis; a growing contempt for public services and the constant advance of privatisation.  England, particularly the south east, seems locked into this voracious and unsustainable version of capitalism.  For whatever reason we Scots seem to prefer a gentler social order – which tries to include everyone – where market imperatives will be put to the service of the common good.  Given the chance – I wonder if we Scots would dare to ‘go for it’ on our own?  We’ll soon find out.      


The National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA) is not much known in Scotland – but it is worthy of our...Read more

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.

Visit the new website here

The SENs: Friday 29th August 2014

Bookings are now open for this year’s SE Conference and Ceilidh - our 10th - at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld on 13th/14th November. To request a booking form, email Initially, we are limiting places to 6 per SEN and 2 per organisation. We’re keen to ensure that each SEN can have a few of their members along. We’re working on the draft programme - should be available within the next couple of weeks. The programme will include old favourites such as the Big Questions and the Dragons’ Den - but will also be an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by SENs and their members over the last 10 years and to look at challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With the Referendum being done and dusted, it will also be a chance to consider the impact of its outcome on social enterprise in Scotland. Most importantly, however, is the chance for folk to connect up again for the craic.

This week, Edinburgh SEN, launched their ‘Buy the Good Stuff’ marketing campaign. The campaign is a call to action to the general public to think about how they shop around the city and consider purchasing from over 150 social enterprises that are trading in the city are trading in Edinburgh, from cafes and retail, to creative industries and leisure generating...Read more
Social Enterprise
View the
Code in full
new book
Order here
News - Top 5 Views - Top 5 Jobs - Top 5
Removal of asset lock on dividends from CICs 'will encourage social investment', say lawyers
25 Aug 2014
New legislation means community interest companies will be able to pay dividends...Read more

Legacy 2014: Sustainable Sport for Communities Fund
15 Aug 2014
Legacy 2014: Sustainable Sport for Communities is a £1m Fund established...Read more

Time to Rebuild Scottish Democracy
14 Aug 2014
One of the most welcome recent developments in Scottish democratic reform has...Read more

Social Enterprise: A Sharing Economy?
08 Aug 2014
Over the last five years there’s been a groundswell of interest in what...Read more

Is charity status right for you?
17 Jul 2014
A common query for us at Senscot Legal is whether a social enterprise can be...Read more

See all previous news stories here
Crowdfunding - Patrick Geddes Library
28 Aug 2014
Working with Scottish Historic Buildings Trust we are raising funds and awareness...Read more

Monster News on the Canal Today
28 Aug 2014
One of Edinburgh’s well-known social enterprises, Re-union Canal Boats,...Read more

What is happening in Scotland?
28 Aug 2014
This paper has been produced as part of the NCIA Inquiry into the Future of...Read more

The Guardian view on the Rotherham child abuse scandal: no excuse
28 Aug 2014
Shaun Wright, Labour’s South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner,...Read more

Sale of the century: the privatisation scam
28 Aug 2014
Privatisation promised to turn the UK into an island of small shareholders....Read more

See all previous articles here
Opening Up Scotland Archives - Work based training
Scottish Council on Archives
Closing Date: 02 Sep 2014 ...Read more

Employment Development Worker
Turning Point Scotland
Closing Date: 05 Sep 2014 ...Read more

Support Worker
Turning Point Scotland
Closing Date: 05 Sep 2014 ...Read more

Strange Town
Closing Date: 05 Sep 2014 ...Read more

Workshop Co-ordinator
Turning Point Scotland
Closing Date: 05 Sep 2014 ...Read more

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

43 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 1HW | Tel: +44(0)0141 332 8084 | Fax:+44 (0)141 331 0749
54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH | Tel: +44(0)131 220 4104 | Fax:+44 (0)131 539 9999 | E-mail:
Registered at above address in Edinburgh,Scotland. Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210