Networks1st Update: Friday 25th November 2011

Last week’s SE Conference and Ceilidh seemed to go down well with those who attended. We have circulated our feedback survey this week and once we’ve gathered responses, we’ll post the report on the site. Aside from having a good time, there were a series of interesting discussions and debate on some of the key issues facing social enterprises in Scotland at the moment. Issues covered included gaps in support; social investment; community benefit clauses and procurement; and a voluntary code of practice. Here are some of the headline comments,

Great news this week for Edinburgh SEN member, Crescent Kitchen. They have entered a partnership with Sir Robert MacAlpine to manage the catering facility on the site of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). Four SEN members are now delivering catering contract on major sites across the country; Unity Enterprise in Glasgow (again with MacAlpine’s); and Aberdeen Foyer and CFINE in Aberdeen (with Millar Construction). It’s hugely encouraging that such major companies are showing faith in the local social enterprise community. See,

Social Firms Scotland’s Acquiring Business 4 Good (AB4G) programme is now circulating a weekly blog. AB4G is about offering more growth and business development choices to social enterprises, supporting partnership working, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. They have recently produced a report on the views and attitudes of the private investment community on investment into Social Firms. See the AB4G Blog, (which includes link to Report),

Out of the Blue is one of 12 finalists in the Triodos Social Vision photo competition. They’re looking for your vote to bring the title back to Scotland. Voting closes at noon on Friday 2nd Dec. 2011. To vote, see

The Just Enterprise programme is now looking for new applicants. The programme has now been operating for 6 months and offers a range of support including client management advisory services, feasibility studies, business planning, marketing, financial management, procurement and developing their sustainability. To find out more about Just Enterprise, contact John Hughes on 0141-425-2909 or go to

The Cultural and Creative SEN met on Wednesday at WASPS Studios in Glasgow.  Since June this year the Network has met 3 times and has welcomed new members at each meeting.  Morag Arnot (Creative Scotland) attended the meeting to give an overview of future support that will be available to the sector through Creative Scotland.  Further news includes: Impact Arts opening their first shop in the Merchant City – Eco-Chic Boutique – which will sell the creations of the young people Impact Arts is working with; Also, congratulations to Sense Scotland who won the National Lottery Awards 2011 for Best Health Project.

Caring Christmas Trees is up and running again this year. So far over 1300 trees have been sold. You can get them in Glasgow (Impact Arts); Aberdeen, Fife and Edinburgh (Bethany); and Paisley (Kibble). All profits made from the tree sales go to support local charities working with local people. See,


TENDERS: There are 36 live tender opportunities on the Ready for business website including Oak Tree Housing Association Ltd Open Space Maintenance 2012-2013, Provision of a Care & Repair Service and Sub-Contractor and Supplier Packages, Crieff Road Nursery Refurbishment, Perth. For more info, see

NEW PROJECT: A new government-funded project run by Suited and Booted are hoping to address the region’s unemployment levels.  David Neary and Gareth Cuthbert have recently opened their one-stop shop in Motherwell to help people across North Lanarkshire find work.  Suited and Booted, in the towns Merry Street, will offer unemployed people the chance to get their hands on the perfect outfit for attending job interviews and making inroads into the world of work.  See more

EVENTS: Social Enterprise UK and the Social Enterprise Scotland have joined forces to host the world’s biggest social enterprise event.  The Social Enterprise Exchange will take place on Tuesday 27 March 2012 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. The sell-out annual events Voice and S2S are this year being combined to provide a better-than-ever event for everyone in the growing social enterprise sphere. For more see

CHRISTMAS MARKET:  Dreaming of a Noir Christmas: Street Market and Cabaret is brought to you by Edinburgh Markets for the Community. It runs from 8th – 24th December, Thursdays to Sundays from 11am – 7pm. There will be a mix of stalls selling both arts and crafts, and food, together with a hot cider bar and 1940s themed events programme in a beautiful yurt.  See more

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

Angus SEN, 30th November
Borders, 6th December
ESEN AGM, 6th December
DGSEN, 7th December
Dundee SEN, 7th December
Aberdeen SEN, 8th December
Youth SEN, 14th December



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