Networks1st Update: Friday 19th November 2010

Over 100 folk attended the Social Enterprise Conference/Ceilidh yesterday and this morning at New Lanark. All 20 SENs were represented at this 6th running of the event. This year’s highlights included a lively Question Time chaired by Neil McLean of SEA, Geoff Pearson (Scottish Govt) updated us on a budget that seems to indicate a 16% increase for the Third Sector; Yrock ( ) continued the ‘double whammy’ trend of recent years by picking up both the Dragons’ Den and Audience awards; the unveiling of a new website for Networks 1st. We also issued a press release with the results of our recent Vital Stats survey. 7 of the 20 SENs participated. Between 70 organisations, turnover was around £60m; trading making up 67% of this income; over 1,500 people employed; and over 2,500 training/volunteering places. With luck, we’ll extend the Survey to all 20 SENs over the next year. See

Also at the Ceilidh yesterday, the Social Enterprise Academy and Senscot/Networks 1st launched a new programme of learning and development options for the SENs. The programme will be piloted initially in three areas – Dumfries & Galloway, Edinburgh and Dundee – early in the New Year. A key element in designing the programme has been to ensure that it is both meaningful and affordable for SEN members. The aim is to then to make these opportunities available across all the SENs over the next couple of years. For more info’, contact

Last Friday, DGSEN hosted its conference, titled "Opportunities and challenges for social enterprise" at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries. To set the scene, presentations were delivered by myself, Gerry Higgins (CEiS) and Ed Ferguson (Spruce Carpets). Delegates also had plenty of opportunity for browsing the market place, networking and attending workshops which included a Legal Workshop (delivered by Senscot Legal –; Introduction to Social Enterprise, Firstport and readyforbusiness. My highlight was the presentation by Ed Ferguson (Spruce Carpets) who gave a very honest and inspiring account of his time with Spruce Carpets. Here’s a link to Ed’s presentation


AWARD: out of the blue has won the regional award for Scotland in this year’s Social Vision Photography Competition.  They have now been out through to the national final.  To support Out of the Blue PLEASE VOTE ONLINE.  Deadline for votes is 27th November.  For more information and to vote, see

SUPPORT: Aspire to Enterprise programme is still open for applications.  They are particularly looking for applications from Aberdeen, Angus, Clacks, Dundee, Fife and Perth.  For more information and criteria see
TRAINING: Coalfields Leadership Programme.  A leadership development programme leading to a Certificate in leadership, delivered by Linked Work and Training Trust and Scottish Social Enterprise Academy. Last few places available, see
JOB: Argyll & Bute SEN, Development Manager. Exciting opportunity offering development support for Social Enterprises through the Network across Argyll & Bute. See

Case Study: Dumfries and Galloway SEN

Set up in 2006, Dumfries & Galloway Social Enterprise Network covers an extensive region in the South West of Scotland. Due to the large distances involved and the time it takes to travel around the Dumfries & Galloway SEN meets in the Town Hall in Castle Douglas, seen as the most central point for all.

Download Full Case Study:

Dates for the Diary

Sport SEN, 24th November
Borders SEN, 25th November
Perth SEN, 30th November
DSEN & Chamber Event, 30th November
Fife SEN, 2nd December
Aberdeen SEN, 7th December
Coalfields SEN, 7th December
Dundee SEN, 8th December
Edinburgh SEN, 14th December
Dumfries and Galloway SEN, 16th December


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