Networks1st Update: Friday 17th June 2011

Yesterday, Senscot and Social Firms Scotland (SFS) met with Alasdair Nicholson, the social enterprise spokesperson for Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS). Our intention was to explore how we could work together better to ensure that the social enterprise community is adequately supported through their respective Single Interfaces. The good news is that both parties are keen to improve communications and engagement so that the ‘supporting social enterprise’ function is delivered as effectively and consistently as possible across all Interfaces. A number of immediate actions were agreed that will include quarterly meetings between VAS, SFS, SSEC and Senscot and VAS to attend the next SEN Reps meeting.

We got confirmation this week that the new Scottish Govt contract for Business Support Services to the Third Sector has been awarded to a consortium led by CEiS, the Social Enterprise Academy, Firstport and HISEZ. The consortium will operate under the name ‘Just Enterprise’.  The contract will integrate, for the first time, start up, business support and learning and development services to social entrepreneurs and enterprising third sector organizations and will be open for business by mid July. We’ll keep you posted on developments/contacts etc. See more,

Over the years, we have built up a portfolio of over 400 profiles of social enterprises across the country. Obviously, many of these are in need of being updated. Recently, for example, Westray Development Trust and Rosie’s Social Enterprises in Aberdeen have sent in refreshed ‘profiles’ which are now up on the website. If you’d like to do the same, please send in your updated profile to

Firstport has, this week, launched its new Social Enterprise Skills Exchange website – . The site provides is a One-Stop-Shop for Networking, Discussions, Information and Skills Sharing. They will be looking to match start up and growing social enterprises with the resources, skill development and support they require. The site will be operated in partnership with Edinburgh Business Development.

Scottish Govt`s  Preventative Support Working Group is undertaking a short survey to establish the general coverage of three types of preventative support services – handyperson, small repairs and gardening services – for older people and disabled people. The results of the survey will help in the development of future policy in this area. Deadline for response in Monday 4th July. See,


FUNDING: A new fund has been launched by the Robertson Trust which is specifically for organisations who are currently receiving a grant or have been funded by them in the past.  It’s entitled the 50th Anniversary Award and has a closing date of 31st July.  See more here

TENDERS: Community Bakery Feasibility Study; Potential for Renewable Local Energy Generation in the Stirling Council area; Supply and Delivery of Printing and Design Services, Incorporating High Volume Copying; Supply & Distribution of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables. See more at

SKILLS: Sus it Out Plus™ is a community empowerment programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund over two years, that Future Balance is managing and will enable us to work with new and existing community groups with the aim of making them more aware of sustainable development principles, and building these into their activities to help create sustainable communities.  As well as direct interaction we will provide £1,500 funding to buy training and support to help build vital skills.  See more

EVENTS: Thrive Business Networking Events in Edinburgh for business-to-business SMEs have a Trial Package at reduced rates for companies interested in more than one meeting: A visit includes an opportunity to introduce your organisation to the room, a hot & cold buffet breakfast or two course lunch, wine & coffee, VIP presentations, Q&A and contributions.  See more

Assist Social Capital are running a basic social media training course on the 27th of June in Edinburgh.  Details available by clicking on this link:-

Case Study:

Re-Union Canal boats trades successfully on and around the Union canal.  They operate canal trips; provide training and volunteering opportunities and various canal side projects. 

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Stirling SEN, 20th June
Community & Food SEN, 29th June
Canal SEN, 29th June
Cultural SEN, 29th June
Borders SEN, 30th June
East Lothian SEN, 1st July
Dundee SEN, 6th July



To unsubscribe or change subscription address, e-mail