Networks1st Update: 4th April 2008

This week saw what was supposed to be the offical handover to local authorities of responsibility for local business support and economic development functions. Many Network members are still unclear about what will be happening. The stories coming back to us vary quite dramatically between those Councils who are being pro-active in trying to ensure a smooth transition and offering particular support to their local SENs and their members and others that are waiting for the dust to settle before making any decisions on the future. Dumfries and Galloway Council, for example, are looking to continue their support for the local SEN. In Clackmannan, on the other hand, the Network is facing up to other difficulties. They`ve sent us this update mentioned a few weeks back that `Aspire to Enterprise` was now up and running. This is a new programme providing a range of Business Support Services to ambitious, developing social enterprises in Lowland Scotland. The programme offers access to development support to organisations looking to increase their trading and become more sustainable social enterprises. This service is led by CEiS and Forth Sector. Check out their website and see if your eligible SEN held its first awards dinner last week at Innes House near Elgin. Kevin McDermott writes to tell us that the feedback`s been really positive. We attach the press release as well as a list of nominees. For more info on the Network, here`s their website – News from Aberdeenshire that a local member has been recognised for “most effective use of ESF in a Social Enterprise” at the celebration event of Objective 3 and Equal Programmes held in Glasgow on 18 March. Wood RecyclAbility accessed ESF funding with the support of Aberdeenshire Council demonstrating how Councils and independent Social Enterprises can work together. For more, see