Networks1st Update: Friday 16th December 2011

With this being the last Networks 1st Newsletter of 2011, we thought we’d reflect on some of this year’s developments. SEN activity and membership continues to increase. There are now 24 SENs – 17 local and 7 thematic – with almost 350 social enterprises engaged – offering peer support and promoting social enterprise at a local level as well across respective themes. We have hosted (or co-hosted) a series of events – the first Social Enterprise and Sport Conference; the 5th ‘Fit for Purpose’ Conference; 3 local Procurement events; and the 7th Conference/Ceilidh at New Lanark. A number of SENs are now actively engaged or partners within local Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs). This has not been without difficulties but we hope 2012 will see these relationships become more productive. In the year ahead, we will continue to work with Social Firms Scotland and SE Scotland to ensure as accessible and responsive a level of support as is possible to both SENs and their members.

Our offer to SEN members to attend the Social Enterprise Exchange (see draft programme, comes to an end on Monday (19th Dec). So far, 110 people (from 58 orgs) have signed up. We’ll be struggling to take any more bookings after 5pm on Monday. There have been a few applications from people who are not active in SENs. Unfortunately we will not be able to accept these applications. To sign up, see

The Just Enterprise Consortium has been operational since the summer of 2011. The consortium is made up of CEiS, HISEZ, Firstport, the Social Enterprise Academy, Forth Sector Development, Community Enterprise Ltd, CEMVO Scotland, Lanarkshire Enterprise Services and Inspiralba. Its role is to assist social enterprises who show the greatest potential to grow and develop into becoming more sustainable – this could be in terms of income, employment or contracts secured. So far, almost 40 SEN members have accessed support via Just Enterprise and we are aware that a number more currently have applications being processed. Applications are particularly welcome from SEN members in Aberdeen, East and West Lothian and Fife. If you are interested in support from Just Enterprise, see

The Single Point of Enquiry Champions Group has met for the second time. The Champions’ Group has been set up to oversee the Scottish Government’s advice service for organisations bidding for public sector contracts. The group has considered a number of issues raised by suppliers and made recommendations. See more,

The Year of Creative Scotland 2012 begins with a bang this Hogmanay – with a spectacular fireworks display in Edinburgh. Creative Scotland will be investing £6.5 million of Lottery funds through the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 programme. A number of Cultural SEN members will be participating in a programme that puts Scotland’s creativity in the global spotlight. See, or

Dundee SEN member, The Clean Close Company has started a carpet reuse project – The Clean Carpet Company. It’s aim is to divert carpets / carpet tiles  from landfill and in turn provide  good quality floor covering to members of the community at low cost. So far, the project has created nine new jobs. See more,

Remember that CARING CHRISTMAS TREES is up and running again this year. You can get your tree from the following sources: Glasgow – Impact Arts; Aberdeen, Fife and Edinburgh – Bethany; and Paisley – Kibble. All profits made from the tree sales go to support local charities working with local people. See,


TRAINING: Are you involved in a local community or voluntary group that trades or are you interested in starting up a new trading activity? Would you like an opportunity to develop a new, enterprising, business plan for your organisation? If so, this Social Enterprise training course is for you!  Developed by the Dumfries & Galloway Social Enterprise Network and the Social Enterprise Academy in partnership with local Councils of Voluntary Service, this 4-day programme will help you to look at every aspect of your project or idea and develop new, enterprising plans. More info

ADVANCED TENDER WRITING: Free 2 Day course from Just Enterprise taking place on the 11th & 15th January 2012 in Glasgow. This is a workshop style course for enterprise third sector organisations who have some knowledge and experience of tendering for public sector contracts but who want to improve their success rate. For full details visit

TENDERS: There are 30 tenders listed on the Ready for Business website. Rural Skills Advisor, Environmental and Greenspace Activity, Development Of Sports Facilities and Oak Tree Housing Association Ltd Open Space Maintenance 2012-2013. There are many changes planned for the website in the New Year. For more info see

ORCHARDS: Scottish Orchards gave evidence at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday – arguing for school and community orchards. They are particularly keen to push the case for school orchards so young people across Scotland can get experience of growing, harvesting and enjoying their own harvest. See more,

REHIS COURSES: Edinburgh Cyrenians have training in the New Year for REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene and REHIS/Cyrenians Good Food Good Health. Contact Jeanie for further details

CROWD FUNDING: CFINE in Aberdeen have launched a croud funding appeal  for their Impact project. For contributors there is a prize draw and discount available. More details on the flyer,

Case Study: Fife SEN

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Fife SEN 18th January
Health SEN, 18th Jan
Edinburgh SEN, 23rd January
Ayrshire SEN, 24th January
Clackmannanshire SEN 24th January
Aberdeenshire, January
DGSEN, 26th January
Network Reps, 27th January
Cultural and Creative SEN, 1st Feb
Aberdeen, 23rd Feb