Networks1st Update: Friday 19th April 2013

SEN Co-ordinators and Third Sector Interface staff with responsibility for supporting social enterprises attended a network meeting at The Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh this week. The purpose of the meeting was to share good practice and exchange information. Group discussions focussed on – social enterprise definition; how to support social enterprises to submit tenders; and how to encourage organisations to become more enterprising. We’re reviewing the feedback from the groups and will share the report next week. There will be an opportunity for the group to come together again later in the year. Contact if you would like any more information.

Earlier this week Social Firms Scotland and Senscot participated in the European Social Entrepreneurs Network. The partnership comprises of ESF Managing Authorities and Intermediaries from nine EU Member States and Regions. The Network will share good practice and formulate recommendations to ensure a comprehensive support environment for the social enterprise in the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programme. Early work of the Network highlights Good Practice from Scotland  – in particular, Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers Programme and Just Enterprise, see

Senscot Legal has recently carried out the first conversion in Scotland from a charity into a Community Interest Company (CIC). It carried out the conversion on behalf of Assist Social Capital. OSCR and the CIC Regulator have devised a seamless conversion process to allow charitable companies to become CIC’s and vice versa.  The process offers organisations the flexibility to convert should they find that their current structure is not fit for purpose.   If you feel that your governance and/or legal structure need reviewed, contact Karina at Senscot Legal who would be happy to discuss your requirements.  Karina can be contacted on 0141 332 8084 or 

Next month sees the 3rd year of the Fife Social Enterprise Trade Fair – ‘Opportunities to Grow’. The event will take place on Wed, 8th May at Rothes Hall in Glenrothes. Its focus, as always, will be to provide access like-minded social enterprise organisations; opportunities for collaboration with public, private and third sector organisations; as well as voting for Fife’s social enterprise and social entrepreneur of the year. For details, see

Three Scottish organisations (and SEN members) are in the frame in a public vote for awards in the RBS Inspire Enterprise initiative – Firstport; the Social Enterprise Academy; and West Fife Enterprise. The awards focus on working with young people to explore enterprise, develop their skills and start up in business. Each of the Scottish organisations, on a shortlist of 29, has shown an innovative approach to engaging with young people in the world of social enterprise. Voting ends on Tues, 23rd April. To see more about their work and to cast your vote, see 

Edinburgh SEN member, The Melting Pot, is running its Social Innovation Incubator Programme again. Closing date for applications is 20th May 2013. For details, see . The Melting Pot is also looking for sponsors and/or partners to support the programme – as well as supporting the next tranche of social innovators in Scotland. To help, see


BID FOR FUNDS: Caber Coffee’s ETHYCO brand of hot beverage ingredients donates 2% of all sales to social enterprise projects throughout the UK. Every 6 months, they will be making donations to a range of projects. They are now welcoming bids for funds. Closing date for applications is the 30th April 2013. They require a little background information for the projects that wish to apply as well as some information on how funds would be used.  See more,

RECRUITMENT: The Engine Shed is looking to recruit new directors for its Board of Management. They’d welcome interest from folk with a range of skills and professional experience: accountancy, legal/professional, business experience, HR etc. For more, see

CONFERENCE: Annual Children’s Mental Health Conference on Tuesday 14th May 2013, Hilton Grosvenor Hotel, Glasgow.  This conference is a "must" for anyone working with children and young people particularly from education, social care and health settings. An opportunity to update knowledge, hear about current developments and best practice and network. See more,

NETWORK: The Social Innovation Network at GCU is a new online facility for bringing together academics, social entrepreneurs, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders for the purposes of generating and sharing knowledge; enhancing understanding of social innovation; collaborating on research and funding bids; engaging with key stakeholders including communities and policymakers; supporting practitioners; and disseminating information on social innovation initiatives and events.  See more,

EVENT: Maximising Environmental, Social and Economic Value event will combine keynote presentations on topical issues in delivering sustainability in the current economic climate followed by a choice of practical workshops in the afternoon. See,

Case Study: Edinburgh SEN

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Sport SEN North, 24th April
Edinburgh SEN, 25th April
Fife SEN, 1st May
Fife SEN Trade Fair, 8th May
Dumfries & Galloway SEN, 16th May
Dundee SEN AGM, 29th May
Aberdeenshire SEN, 4th June
Start Up SEN, 5th June
Moray SEN, 5th June

Best wishes


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