Networks1st Update: 15th May 2009

On Friday I attended a meeting with George Watson’s College to discuss their position as a large local procurer. Watson’s already have a policy to use local companies and they’re keen to learn more about how social enterprise might add further to their CSR agenda. This follows on from the very positive meeting which took place with the Scottish Parliament’s Social Enterprise Procurement Forum where a group of intermediaries were given a long list of the contracts under £90,000 that will be coming up over the next year. Senscot is keen to hear of any other companies you can think of who could be interested in following similar a Responsible Procurement approach. http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/shownotice.php?articleid=46 The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition. also has two tendering opportunities available to design and implement maintenance and update of a new SSEC website and another for PR services. For more information contact colin@senscot.net

PrintAbility in Aberdeen is about re-launch itself as Send-It (profiled in this week’s Senscot bulletin). The re-launch came about as a result of consultancy support through the Aspire to Enterprise Programme; PrintAbility does not actually print anything so a re-brand seemed a logical move! Over the last eventful year, PrintAbility joined the Aberdeen SEN, heard about Aspire and is looking at various forms of investment to drive the business forward. Send-it will be the only mailing house in Grampian which offers printing, mailing and fulfilment solutions to businesses across all sectors. The company will continue to provide placements and training to around 20 adults who are disadvantaged from mainstream employment and recovering from mental health problems.

Networks 1st has been looking for an easily accessible online tool to allow LSENs to communicate with each other for quite some time (and by jove we think we have done it!). Over the last couple of months, we have developed an e-networking website, hosted by ning.com, incorporating all 18 local and thematic SENs along with a Networks 1st page. The site is based on the social networking sites, such as facebook, favoured by many as a means of instant messaging and communicating to friends, family and colleagues. Each LSEN can now host its own space for discussion, forums, news and events along with messaging. Each Network’s space has the potential to be self administrating and managing with input decided by the members. There is also the opportunity to share, discuss and identify business opportunities and collaborations with members from all the other Networks. For more info, see http://networks1st.ning.com. We will be sending out invites to join the Networks 1st e-community to all LSEN members in the next few days and would hope that you will sign up and get involved – maybe even kick start a discussion or two! If you would like any more info on the e-networking possibilities or have not received an invite, contact richard@senscot.net

Networks Case Study

Set up in 2006, Dumfries & Galloway Social Enterprise Network covers an extensive region in the South West of Scotland. In 2007, the Network was given an £8,000 grant from the LSEP to deliver training opportunities for the members, a website and admin back up for organising meetings and minute taking etc. This has been extended to a £15,000 contract from the Council’s Economic Development Team http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showresource.php?articleid=34

Networks Notices

Senscot has taken out an associate membership with Edinburgh SEN member The Melting Pot, which means that LSEN members can access their services if you find yourself needing a place to do some work if you have time on your hands on a visit to Edinburgh. http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/shownotice.php?articleid=43

The LSENs have already given a great response to our survey on the idea of a social enterprise Legal Practice, but we’re keen to get as many responses as possible. If you were able to spare 10 mins to complete the form, it would be a great help in assessing the merit of this idea. The closing date is http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/shownotice.php?articleid=44

Dates for Your Diary
http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/diary.php

21st May – East Lothian SEN
27th May – Fife SEN
29th May – Glasgow
11th June – Social Enterprise Mark Glasgow
17th June – Social Enterprise Mark Aberdeen
17th June – Clacks SEN
18th June – Culture SEN
18th June – Sport & Social Enterprise Event
23rd June – Edinburgh SEN
25th June – Tayside SEN