Networks1st Update: 25th April 2008

Attended the 3rd S2S Trade Fair this week in Dundee. The change of venue from Perth to Dundee was in response to growing demand from the sector. Jim Mather (Minister for Enterprise) talked up the opportunities opening up for the sector over the next three years and his confidence in our ability to link to their ambitions and to thrive and grow in the new climate of enterprise for the Third Sector. This year, two SENs had their own Stand at the event – Moray SEN and Tayside SEN. Senscot booked a Stand again this year and we were joined by You Can Cook (Borders), Stranraer Furniture Project (Dumfries & Galloway), C-FINE (Aberdeen) and C-MEE and MOTOR-Vation Community Cars (Clackmannanshire) SENs.Jim Mather`s message highlighted the Government’s intention to work closely with the Social Enterprise Academy (SSEA), Firstport and Aspire to Enterprise in their drive to build opportunity in the social enterpirse scene. Their services have been designed specifically to help social enterprises develop and grow – no matter what they level they are at. Senscot will be encouraging SEN members to engage with these organisation – to check what they can do for you – and also encourage the organisations to make contact with SENB members to alert them to their services.Firstport was set up to act as the first port of call for social entrepreneurs and their enterprises in Scotland through brokering advice and support. www.firstport.org.ukSSEA delivers learning and development for people working in, or towards, a leadership role in social enterprise. www.theacademy-ssea.orgLastly, Aspire to Enterprise is a new programme providing Business Support Services to ambitious, developing social enterprises in Lowland Scotland. The folk in charge of delivering the programme are keen to get out and and meet with the Networks and John Hughes (CEiS) has already attended meetings of the Tayside and Dumfiries SENs. If you’d like to invite him along to future meetings, contact John at john.hughes@ceis.org.uk or 0141 425 2909. Alternatively, you can contact Brandy Derrick (Forth Sector) at info@aspiretoenterprise.org.uk Website: www.aspiretoenterprise.org.ukHere We Are, one of the founding members of ABSEN, are holding the official launch of their Wood Chip Boiler on Friday 2nd may in Cairndow. MSP Mike Russell is doing the honours. Congatulations to Christina and her team. www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=7180Finally, I`m delighted that Anna Roscoe (presently with C-Mee in Alloa) will be joining Senscot as the new Network Development Officer. Anna and I will be out visiting social enterprises from about mid May.Dtaes for DiaryFife SEN 1st of May, BRAG, Crosshill Business Centre, Main Street, Crosshill KY5 8BJInverclyde SEN 1st May, Tree Tops Community Nursery PA14 6QFCoalfields SEN 13st May, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Alloa, at 1pm on 13th May. (Snack lunch before meeting at 12.30pm)