Networks1st Update: 12th June 2009

CEiS is holding a series of free seminars this month on opportunities for social enterprises in the new contracting arrangements for government programmes. The seminars will give some focus to the commissioning of the new Specialist Disability Employment Programme and will provide the opportunity to hear from existing prime providers of other programmes. These seminars are a key step in establishing partnerships and collaborations that can help gain and retain business through employability programmes. There will be 4 seminars held across the country, which are free to attend: Inverness – Monday 22nd June, Glasgow – Thursday 25th June, Edinburgh – Friday 26th June , Dundee – Monday 29th June. See details,

New Glasgow SEN members, Neilston Development Trust have been instrumental in empowering the local community to develop a vision for its future. The Renaissance Town Initiative is a partnership between the local community, East Renfrewshire Council, architects, developers, academics and designers. At the heart of the renaissance of these towns is the fundamental belief in the value of local empowerment. A need is recognised to empower local communities and release their latent skills, knowledge and desire to improve their towns as places to live, invest in and visit. East Renfrewshire Council are hosting a conference on June 25th in Giffnock to learn from Neilston’s experience as the first Scottish Renaissance Town, and about the Scottish Renaissance approach to placemaking.

The Vital Statistics Survey of the Tayside Network is now complete and it has revealed very impressive results. Over the last year, between 10 established trading social enterprises in Tayside, they have: £5,217,782 in Contracts; £1,251,200 in Grants and other income; £3,715,646 Assets; 273 full and part time employees; 2,512 trainees; 213 volunteers both Operational and on Management Committees. These figures reveal that over 81% of the income generated by the Tayside SEN members has been through trading. This is an excellent achievement. The statistics have already been used at the Community of Business Event in Dundee earlier in the year and in presentations during 2 Ministerial Visits to the area. We are in the process of replicated the survey amongst other Networks.

Case Study – Moray SEN

Set up in 2006, Moray Social Enterprise Network(MSEN) benefited from a lot of support from Kevin McDermot and Gill Dolphin who carried out a mapping exercise on the opportunities for social enterprise in the area in 2005 and then gained £25,000 funding to carry out training and other support activities in 2007 and again in 2008/09. Senscot had a number meetings with REAP leading up to the launch of the Network. This led to Moray SEN adopting the LSEN model as outlined in the LSEN Blueprint Document.

Network Notices

LSEN members will have received an invite to the new Networks 1st online forum. This is an opportunity for Networks to communicate outside of regular meetings and also to connect with other LSENs around the country. There’s a site for every SEN in the Networks 1st Ning website which can be administered locally. We eventually hope that over 200 social enterprises can support each other in developing business and delivering joint contracts across Scotland. If you`d like more info`, contact or sign up here at

Edinburgh SEN member Re-Union is involved in running this year`s Edinburgh Raft Race. It kicks off at 11am on 27th June at the Leamington Bridge. The event has a focus on making use of unlikely re-used materials with a prize for "most recyclable raft". Have a look at last year’s photos, read the rules, fill out an entry form and start building ( Enter soon because there are only a few places left.

Local People Leading (LPL) is an alliance of national and regional networks, local community groups and individuals that has come together to campaign for a strong and independent community sector in Scotland.They want to find out how well the public sector in Scotland is serving the needs of third sector organisations. They want to hear about the ambitions of your organisation, about your experiences of local statutory bodies, and about your ability to work with the public sector to make a positive difference locally. Please take just 10 minutes to have your say. The information that you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence..

LAST CHANCE TO APPLY: An exciting opportunity exists to set up a market garden social enterprise in Glasgow through CEiS`s Investing in Enterprise programme. CEiS is looking for a social enterprise to host a feasibility study. Notes of Interest to be in by TODAY 12th June. See more,

Dates for Your Diary
For information on up coming LSEN meetings and other events visit the Networks1st Calendar. See