Networks1st Update: Friday 1st October 2010

Vital Stats surveys have now been completed for two further SENs – Edinburgh and Clackmannanshire. Again, the Stats show increasing trading levels, significant community assets as well as a range of employment, trainee and volunteering opportunities – all reflecting the contribution the social enterprise community is making within their respective areas.  To date, the four SENs surveyed are generating an average of 88% of their turnover through trading. 15 organisations are 100% self sustaining i.e. free from grants to support their core activity. We expect results from four more SENs in the coming weeks. For the full results see:

Ceilidh bookings have been streaming in. We’ll have the full programme etc ready in a couple of weeks – with a couple of exciting (!!) changes from last year. Due to current demand, we are limiting places to two per organisation for the meantime. To reserve your place now, here’s the online booking form

Over the last couple of months, Graeme McKechnie (Scottish Govt) has been round the country attending a number of SEN meetings, talking to SEN members about their experience of tendering and what they think would level the procurement playing field for social enterprises. Graeme has been doing a lot of work over the past couple of years to improve the accessibility of the Third Sector to procurement opportunities and, currently, is working on recommendations for the next Third Sector Action Plan – 2011-2014. See further details  Graeme is still keen to hear your views. Please send any comments you may have to – .We’ll collate and forward them on.

Diane continues her travels with a recent visit to Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool in Dumfries & Galloway.  This community owned pool is supported by its own charity shop on the high street run entirely by volunteers.  They continue to come up with a range of enterprising activities in their facility but like many fear a cut in their SLA.   Swimming pools are a challenge to run profitably however we hope to attempt to tackle this together – watch this space!


LAUNCH: The Sporting Chance Initiative has recently been launched to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Scotland to exploit the wide range of opportunities in the growing sports sector.  The Initiative will work with SMEs and social enterprises to help them to collaborate with the relevant partners to develop new products or services or adapt their existing offerings for the market.  See more

FUNDING: This is an opportunity for small businesses with under 50 staff to apply for up to £5,000 towards employee training costs.  Launched by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and supported by the European Social Fund, it aims to help small businesses become more resilient and to boost productivity and success.  See more

EVENT:  The Wise Group has registered its interest to the Department for Work and Pensions to be considered as a Framework Provider for Scotland and the North East of England, as part of the process of bidding for the upcoming Work Programme.  The Work Programme will involve the delivery of a breath of services to a range of customers, and will require strong, innovative providers and partnerships.  See more

You are invited to attend our 2010 Meet the Buyer event to be held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Wednesday 13th October.  The event will include information on tendering and a practical workshop, led by Scottish Parliament purchasing staff.  The event aims to assist you in improving bids for Public Sector Contracts.  See more

You Can Cook are starting a pilot programme for migrant workers from Eastern Europe in Galashiels on Healthy Eating from the 2nd October 2010. They are running this programme for Eildon Housing Association, for more information contact

Case Study: Edinburgh SEN

The Edinburgh SEN began in November 2005.  Since then it has been involved in a range of activities including the Social Enterprise World Forum, the Fitness to Tender Programme, 2 Community of Business events and hosted many study visits.  They have recently appointed an administrator to help take the group forward.

Download full case study here:

Dates for the Diary

Health SEN, 4th October
Fife SEN, 7th October
Edinburgh, 12th October
Clacks SEN, 13th October
Aberdeen SEN, 19th October
Dundee SEN, 20th October
Dumfries & Galloway SEN, 21st October
Glasgow SEN, 22nd October
Moray SEN, 28th October
Ayrshire SEN, 9th November
Social Enterprise Ceilidh, 18-19th November
Sport SEN, 24th November


To unsubscribe or change subscription address/ e-mail