Networks1st Update: Friday 22nd July 2011

It’s almost 8 years to the day that I started here at Senscot. The desk is the same and the view out the window identical but apart from that most things have moved on significantly. Subscriptions to the bulletin have more than doubled, most people don’t just know what a social enterprise is, they want to BE a social enterprise (whether they are or not!), DTAS, a fledging organisation at that time, now heads up a powerful membership of community ownership and is leading the charge on Community Assets. In Firstport, the Social Enterprise Academy and Senscot Legal we’ve got a host of new, specialist intermediaries vying to support the start up and growth of social enterprise. When I arrived, my remit was to ‘go out and network’. It soon became obvious that many social entrepreneurs were feeling isolated and going round in circles looking for support from someone who understood what they were talking about. In spring 2004, this led to the first meeting of a Social Enterprise Network (SEN), in Fife There are now 25 local and thematic SENs, with their own bespoke legal structure (a co-operative with the option of charitable status), a collective turnover of over £200 million; with thousands of employees, trainees and volunteers that are now a vital and growing asset for Scotland’s economy and public service delivery. Nothing like this level of connected, peer-to-peer engagement amongst social enterprises exists outside of Scotland. With a joined up sector, a new Government in place backing measures to support social enterprise development ( i.e. investment for sustainable growth, specialised business support and a keen understanding of the importance of Community Benefit Clauses), the next 8-10 years should make for interesting times. I hope that the end result will be a resilient Scotland whose communities are creative, enterprising and thriving. It’s been a pleasure to work in a complex, yet fascinating sector and I couldn’t have worked for a better organisation in doing  so. Here’s wishing you every success for the journey ahead!

This week John Swinney launched Just Enterprise at Specialisterne in Glasgow. Here’s a link to the official press release  and also a link to a film  of the launch produced by The Wise Group. As the programme is now open for business John Hughes, CEiS and Graeme McKecnhie, Scottish Government will be visiting SENs and giving further information on the programmes. Get in touch with for more details.

Sports SEN member Phantassie becomes reality with the launch of "theSPACE"!  After a few summers of building, operating and dismantling a temporary facility, Phantassie Skatepark are rebranding as "theSpace".  They open their new permanent home in North Berwick this Saturday 23rd at 10am.  Not just a skatepark there are already two rehearsal rooms with more to come so watch this space – more information at


INTRA-TRADING: Networks 1st was contacted by a youth group looking to buy some canoes, but couldn’t see how to put the request in Intra-trading system. Tariq has now put in touch with another Network member and a deal is being discussed. So, if the categories don’t fit what you looking for get in touch ( and we’ll do our best to find someone who can deliver what you are looking to buy.

TENDERS: Construction of a UEFA/FIFA 1; Synthetic 3G Pitch in Argyll; Consultancy for Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator; Production of a Public Perception Study of Wildness in Scotland; Photovoltaic Installations in Glasgow.
See more

INFORMATION: Skills Development Scotland has a range of programmes and resources aimed at individuals and employers.  Details can be found on their main corporate website Included are details of resources available to businesses to support workforce development and training. Also the knowledge section contains a wealth of local and national labour market information – ideal for supporting service users and to inform practioners about what is going on in the job market.

CROWD FUNDING: SoLoCo are hosting their first crowdfunding workshop to help potential projects complete a crowdfunding application and campaign. This will be held in Edinburgh in August, another one will follow soon in the Borders.   See more

RECRUITMENT:  Moray Social Enterprise Network (MSEN) is a membership organisation which exists is to support and develop social enterprises in Moray, raise awareness of the added value that social enterprises bring to local communities and promote the growth of new and developing social enterprises in Moray.  We have a vacancy for a new post of MSEN Development Manager, initially funded for three years.  See more

Social Firms Scotland is recruiting for a part time Acquisition Project support officer. For application pack and more details see

SPONSORSHIP: The Scottish Homeless World Cup Team travel to Paris from the 21st-28th August for the 9th Annual Homeless World Cup. For the first time, Scotland will have a Women’s team taking part in the Women’s event, alongside our successful Men’s team.  The team are now looking for sponsorship to support their travel costs to the event.  See more

Case Study: Fife SEN

Fife Social Enterprise Network was the first Local Social Enterprise Network to start up. The first meeting took place in 2004 at Furniture Plus in Dysart. FSEN.

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Borders SEN, 4th August
Clacks SEN, 9th August
Sports SEN, 12th August
Youth SEN, 16th August
Glasgow SEN, 17th August
Dumfries & Galloway SEN, 18th August
Argyll & Bute SEN, 22nd August
Dundee SEN, 17th August
Aberdeenshire SEN, 25th August
Fife SEN, 25th August
SEN Reps Meeting, 26th August



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