Networks1st Update: Friday 22nd March 2013

Senscot facilitates quarterly meetings of SEN Co-ordinators – next meeting 17th April in Edinburgh. Next month’s meeting is being opened up to Third Sector Interface (TSI) staff with responsibility for delivering the TSI’s social enterprise function. There has been a great response so far – with 16 TSIs signing up. The meetings provide an opportunity to share information, experiences and offer peer support in relation to social enterprise activity at a local level. All being well, these meetings will build closer ties between SENs and colleagues working in Interfaces and develop further support available to local social enterprises. If you’d like to attend and have not signed up yet, contact

Yesterday, around 950 delegates from across the UK and further afield attended the Social Enterprise Exchange at the SECC in Glasgow. Hot topics on the day were Personalisation of Social Care, Financing Social Enterprise, Public Service Reform and Social Enterprise and Support. Great to see superb food served up by the social enterprise supply chain which included Miss Kibbles Kitchen, Wooden Spoon Catering, Unity Enterprise, Social Bite and Catalyst Catering. Congratulations to all those involved.

Glasgow SEN (GSEN) recently commissioned a ‘mapping’ of social enterprise in the City. The mapping, conducted by Social Value Lab, has impressive headline statistics that were quoted by John Swinney in his opening address at the SE Exchange yesterday – 509 social enterprises; 13,000 employees; 2.2bn in assets; 700m turnover. The full report will be available in coming weeks for more information on GSEN, see

Last year at the SE Exchange, the SE Code of Practice was launched. Over recent months, the Code Steering Group has agreed to merge the Code with the 5 Scottish Criteria – to avoid confusion. The revised Code document has now been completed. See,

Last week, we highlighted Sport SEN members being identified as key deliverers of services. We reported that three of these are recognised as "high growth" businesses which are account managed by either Highlands & Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise – it’s actually four! We missed out our friends at Stramash, see – apologies for that!

The Social Enterprise Academy and Senscot have been working in partnership to offer affordable learning opportunities for social entrepreneurs / social enterprises the latest saw thirteen learners participate in a free ‘Intensive Social Enterprise Planning Programme’. It’s designed to provide peer support for start-ups or more established organisations to turn their social enterprise ideas in to a business plan in a short space of time and help polish their entrepreneurial skills. The Learners developed their business plans, explored legal structures and business models, studied marketing tools and financial management.

Run Native, part of the Community Enterprise stable, provides an on-line marketplace for social enterprises and, this month, has some great gifts on sale for Easter. Does your social enterprise have goods that you could sell on the site? See,

Sport SEN members were delighted that social enterprise and sport was on the agenda at yesterday’s Social Enterprise Exchange event.  With panellist including David Duke ( Street Soccer Scotland) and Mark Sesnan (Greenwich Leisure GLL), there was a lively exchange. Topics included asset transfer; support for sports entrepreneurs; and the role of volunteers in the sector.  Legacy was also a hot topic with Mark sharing the approach GLL took towards the Olympics which saw them planning for pre, during and post games and urging the sector to "be ready for the demand".


TENDERS: Provision of Employee Counselling Services to North Ayrshire Council and The Economic and Social Value of Gaelic as an Asset. For more details, see Join the Linked-In group at and follow on Twitter

GRANT: Voluntary Action Fund is embarking on a tour of Scotland in April 2013 that will promote its new volunteering grant schemes; answer enquiries from potential applicants; and hold surgery sessions to discuss individual project proposals. Organisations with an annual income under £250,000 can apply. See,

PROGRAMME: The Active Communities Funding Programme from The People’s Health Trust aims to close the gap between those communities which experience the worst health in England, Scotland and Wales and the majority of the population. The Programme is open for applications in some areas. See,

EVENT: The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and Trellis are holding a networking event on March 27th in Westhill, Aberdeenshire. The event is for anyone interested in/involved with therapeutic or community gardens, or green spaces used to improve health, well-being or for community benefit. See,

LUNCH: HISEZ is holding a FREE networking lunch aimed at Social Enterprises working within the Heritage Sector across the Highlands and Islands. It will be an opportunity to explore your options to help define your organisation, promote your current activities and work towards a sustainable future. See,

REVIEW: Inspire has published its latest Annual Review – highlight how the Café Coast social enterprise continues to be busy, with an excellent reputation for serving quality food while delivering the social purposes of Inspire. See,

Case Study: Glad Cafe – Cultural SEN

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Aberdeen SEN AGM, 26 March
Glasgow SEN, 3rd April
Fife SEN, 10th April
Sports SEN West, 18th April
Joint Thematic SEN, 24th April, Inverness
Edinburgh SEN, 25th April


To unsubscribe or change subscription address, e-mail with subject Networks 1st.