Final Newsletter – CBS Network 1981 – 2015

Final Newsletter – CBS Network 1981 – 2015
CBS Network
January 2015


Dear Friends and Colleagues
Final Newsletter – CBS Network 1981 – 2015


We are writing to let you know that CBS Network will soon be closing.  Some of you will be aware that Community Business Scotland (CBS) was established in 1981 and changed its name to CBS Network in the late 1990s – so we have been active for well over 30 years!


We are closing down as many of the functions we used to carry out are now being done by other organisations – social enterprises, intermediaries, universities and charities.  Our Board felt that we should close and celebrate our achievements – thus we are planning an event later this year.  Watch this space!


History – 18 causes for celebration!
We do not want to bore you… but do want to highlight some of our main achievements as concisely as possible. We have not included everything but instead have drawn on those events and activities that are particularly pertinent today. The full history of Community Business Scotland is perhaps for others to write.



CBS was established in response to an expanding Community Business movement across Scotland following the first community business formed in 1978 in Govan in Glasgow



The CBS national directory of this year describes the 59 community businesses in central regions; the 22 community co-operatives in the Highlands and Islands; and the 12 advisory agencies supporting community businesses in some form



Annual CBS Conventions attracted 200 – 300 delegates – many from south of the border.  In the 1990s and 2000s these conventions became ‘gatherings’ of people and organisations involved in community and social enterprise



CBS worked with regional councils to establish eight independent development units supporting community businesses/enterprises in all regions of Scotland


By 1988

CBS reported that more than 100 community owned and controlled businesses had been set up with ‘a combined turnover in excess of £10m…four thousand jobs and training opportunities…and new hope to Scotland’s poorest and most isolated communities.’



CBS formed a trading arm – Community Economic Development – later to become CBS Network Services and then JUST the Business


1981 – 2009

CBS established CB News in 1981 which was distributed widely every two months.  It was succeeded by New Sector in the 1990s which ran until 2009



CBS launched the Scottish Community Enterprise Investment Fund (SCEIF) plc with a share offer.  It raised a fund of over £0.5m to lend to community enterprises. CBS then passed the Fund on to the Charity Bank after 10 years of operation


1990 – now

CBS saw the importance of accounting for social change and researched and developed methods of Social Accounting and Audit 


1994 – 2014

CBS worked with colleagues in Europe on research which covered  a variety of topics including the emerging social economy; shared values of social enterprise; community economic profiling; social accounting and audit; starting-up community enterprises; social capital and the links to social enterprise; the role of intermediary organisations; and the social solidarity economy


1998 – 2004

CBS obtained funding to support colleagues in India in: establishing a network of microfinance and income generating groups with women from hard-pressed tribal communities in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; and working to assist tribal self-reliance in Rajasthan



CBS Network, working with others, founded the Social Audit Network in 2003 and supported SAN India with funds and mentoring for 3 years in the later 2000s


2003 – 2005

CBS Network obtained funding and managed the Bridge to the Social Economy project that led on to the founding of Social Enterprise Scotland


1990s – now

CBS Network has maintained and developed links with colleagues in India, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, France, South Korea, Finland…


1990s – 2000s

CBS Network was an active member of COMMACT and Euronetz and partnered with a wide range of organisations including the new economics foundation, Scottish Business in the Community, COSLA, Scottish Development Agency and many more…


2005 – now

CBS Network supported the Community Business Ventures project that linked Community Campus 87 in Middlesbrough and the Renton group of community companies with an NGO in Bangalore


2010 – now

CBS Network supports the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland), started with extensive papers and documents donated by John Pearce, and housed at Glasgow Caledonian University



CBS Network decided to close and celebrate the achievements!



Over four decades CBS Network has helped to shape the development of community businesses, community enterprises and social enterprises across Scotland. 


There have been many people involved in work of CBS Network – Patrick Boase, Glen Buchanan, George Burt, Kay Caldwell, Pat Cassidy, Linda Echlin, Mike Finlayson, Tor Justad, Alan Kay, Felix Mulholland, Carl Ditchburn, Victoria Pearce, Vera Steele, Alan Tuffs, and many more… It is quite staggering to realise the range of people who have been Directors of CBS since 1981.


But special mention has to be made of John Pearce who, with others, founded Strathclyde Community Business (later to become Community Enterprise in Scotland).  He designed and established Community Business Scotland and drove it forward exploring new boundaries in community development and collective empowerment through economic activities.


Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have been a part of, and have contributed, to CBS Network over the years – members, colleagues, partners, clients, Directors, funders…


For all members of COMMACT International, the functions of the secretariat will be from now on covered by Community Campus 87 ( ).


Later this year we shall be in touch about the celebratory event.


Best wishes for 2015!


Alan Kay
On behalf of the current Board of Directors of CBS Network