Networks1st Update: Friday 25th March 2011

We’ll be doing our best over the coming weeks to keep you informed of Scottish Govt support for social enterprise during 2011/12. With the election coming up, information will be restricted, but the bulletin (above) gives a list of what we know so far. Of particular relevance to SEN members will be the `Supporting Social Enterprise` partnership between ourselves, Social Firms Scotland and the SE Coalition that will be geared to bring greater collaboration to our activities; the £8m allocated to the Interfaces; and this weeks announcement of a new £4m Enterprise Fund. See, We also expect to hear shortly about the new Business Support contract and if SEN members will be able to access business support from those with direct experience of the issues faced by grassroots social enterprises.

On Tuesday this week, Kim joined a group of Housing Associations on a study visit to a number of social enterprises in Fife. This was organised by Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH) and supported by the Scottish Centre for Regeneration. Using transport provided by MyBus, the visit started off at Ore Valley Housing Association’s new business centre in Lochgelly before heading on to see the Ecology Centre, Living Solutions, BRAG and Recycle Fife. Feedback has been really positive with the participants saying how inspired and impressed they had been by the thriving social enterprise community in Fife.

Last week’s Senscot Bulletin carried a piece on the increasing number of private sector companies who are looking to include social enterprises in their supply chains. This week, Dundee SEN member, Alistair Cameron (Claverhouse) was one of the experts in the Guardian Online’s Q&A on `breaking into private sector supply chains`. One of Alistair’s key messages is around speed of response. He says, “A lesson that had to be learned the hard way for us was speed of response. When servicing a local authority, you can expect decisions to pass up and down the line and a fair amount of leeway on what you do and when. For the private sector, the decision is made, and if you can’t deliver on Monday, you’ve missed your chance.” See more from Alistair and other experts,

Next Friday, Anna leaves us for a new adventure in The Gambia. She has done a terrific job for Senscot (and for all the SENs she has been helping to support) since she started back in May 2008. She’ll be sorely missed – we’re still on the hunt for a replacement – but know her adventures in the Gambia will be a lot more exciting than traipsing up and down the east coast of  Scotland – or maybe not! No matter what, we’re sure she’ll be a great success in her new venture. Anna’s promised she’ll keep reading her Networks News every Friday and, if we’re lucky, she may even get round to giving us an update on social enterprise developments on the west coast of Africa.


OPPORTUNITY: Spruce Carpets is appealing for partner organisations to deliver the CTRN (Carpet Tile Reclamation Network) in the Aberdeen and Edinburgh regions. The opportunity includes developing carpet tile reclamation and retail operations as part of the CTRN, the national delivery network. A sound business proposition for an organisation looking to diversify their offering.  See more

EVENTS: The Social Enterprise Fair 2011 will take place on Wednesday 20th April and returns to the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.  The 6th annual fair offers the biggest platform for social enterprises in Scotland to trade, participate in workshops, network and make new business connections.  See more

The Supply Scotland SME Engagement Conference, 19th April 2011: *The business landscape in Scotland is changing, and processes such as collaborative procurement, shared services and outsourcing will all have an impact on the supply base. This conference will explore the plethora of opportunities available as well as the routes to supply and will provide guidance to suppliers on maximising the value of their bid.  See more

The Sport SEN Conference is to be held on Wednesday 1st June at Stirling Management Centre – more details in the coming weeks.

RBS SE100 Index: Stake your claim in the RBS SE100 Index and get a share of £25k. The RBS SE100 Index is gathering the facts and figures about social businesses, charting both growth and social impact to put the stats behind great stories of social businesses delivering positive economic change across the UK. There are just a few days left to get your applications into the RBS SE100!

We hear that Community Jobs Scotland is due to start in August 2011. The programme, being delivered by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition and SCVO, will provide 2,000 opportunities for young people across all 32 Local Authority areas. Only third sector organisations will be able to provide opportunities – i.e. charities, social enterprises and community and voluntary organisations – with the intention of getting young people into sustainable employment. Third sector organisations can now express an interest in getting involved. See,

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 is one of the most active Networks, with around 18 members

Download full case study

Dates for the Diary

Voice 2011, 30th March
Aberdeenshire SEN, 30th March
Ayrshire SEN, 13th April
D&G SEN, 14th April
Dundee SEN, 27th April



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