Networks1st Update: Friday 27th August 2010

Since the first Social Enterprise Network (Fife SEN) was set up in 2004, the question of membership has always been a sensitive topic – who can and cannot join a Network. The truth is that the SENs are independent bodies – and can do as they see fit. But Senscot has tried to encourage an appropriate level of consistency. Our view is that initial membership should lie solely with existing or emerging social enterprises. Once this principle is established and the founding members have been able to establish the activity and culture of their Network, additional membership should be decided wholly at the discretion of the members themselves. By definition, this initially discounts Intermediary organisations. This approach was ratified at a SENs` Reps meeting in Glasgow in 2007. However, we are aware of examples across the country where Intermediaries/support orgs have been invited to join SENs on the basis that they are moving towards becoming social enterprises; their support for the local social enterprise community; and the added value they can bring. For more info, contact

The RBS SE100 index is about gathering facts and figures about social businesses, charting both their growth and social impact. In October, they are running a special edition on social enterprises based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – looking at which country has the fastest growing social enterprises and making the biggest impact. £50,000 in prize money is up for grabs plus a number of PR opportunities. Last year, SEN members showed up well and we’re keen to see the same thing happen again. Any Scottish social enterprises signing up for SE100 will automatically get a free 3-month subscription to Social Enterprise Magazine. For more, see

This week saw the official launch of a Community Sports Hub based in Calderglen High School in East Kilbride – Although not a social enterprise, there is a willingness from both the government and sportscotland to endorse the social enterprise model as a way of delivering Community Sports Hubs. If your social enterprise is considering becoming a Community Sports Hub, contact

NEW SERVICES: Last week, we mentioned that Senscot Legal Services (SLS) is now open for business. Alan Dunipace is leading up our new service and already has had contact from a wide variety of sources. Alan also attended his first SEN meetings this week – in Clackmannanshire and Edinburgh. If you’d be interested in Alan coming along to one of your SEN meetings to introduce himself and the new service, you can contact him at See more,

Edinburgh SEN member, With People, this week launched a new service to help Housing Associations support their tenants. Their Alternative Formats service, set up with support from the Enterprise Fund, gives housing providers a quick and efficient way of offering their tenants information in braille, large print and on audio CD. For more, see

Senscot has agreed a deal with Edinburgh SEN member, The Melting Pot (TMP), for SEN members to make use of TMP’s shared office space in the centre of Edinburgh. Services available include hot-desking, informal meeting spaces including the new sound-proof private Melting Pod and more. See here
EVENTS: Aberdeen College Social Enterprise event to raise student awareness to potential opportunities within social enterprise. The event will be run market stalls, in which social enterprises can display / demonstrate what they do and information on how students could get involved. Aberdeen College, 29th September at 12 – 5pm  See here for more info
TRAINING: CVS Training Initiative is hosting a networking event for Social Enterprises in Aberdeenshire on Friday 8th October at the Lochter Activity Centre, Oldmeldrum AB51 0DZ from 10.00 am, cost £12. This is an opportunity for local social enterprises, and budding social enterprises to hear about national (Scottish) initiatives and support. For more info see
Voluntary Action Moray (VAM) are working alongside the Social Enterprise Academy on delivering a FREE 2 day event on Understanding Social Enterprise on the 26th & 27th October 2010 at the Ramnee Hotel, Victoria Road Forres starting at 10am the trainer being Gill Dolphin. See more info here

AWARD: Moray Chamber of Commerce has very generously announced a Social Enterprise Award of £500, sponsored by Fred Olsen Renewables and two tickets to the seventh Annual Dinner of the Moray Chamber of Commerce which takes place at 7.00pm at the Mansefield Hotel Elgin on Friday 24th September. See more

Case Study: Health SEN

The Health SEN was set up in the early part of 2007, after the 1st Fit for Purpose event. One of the lead bodies at the time was the Glasgow Community Care Providers Forum (which has since changed its remit). As with the other thematic SENs the Health SEN suffered from an unclear route by which to build connections with strategic bodies. This situation changed for the better after the 2nd Fit for Purpose conference, when the Health & Wellbeing Directorate started working in partnership with Senscot to develop a Social Enterprise & Health Round Table with various agencies and membership bodies from the Public Health sector, which connects directly with the Health SEN and plays an important role in feeding into policy which has had a positive impact at a national level.

Download full case study here:

Dates for the Diary

Sports SEN, 31st August
Aberdeen SEN, 31st August
Perth SEN, 31st August
East Lothian, 31st August
Dundee SEN, 1st September
Coalfields SEN, 7th September
Health SEN, 10th September
Fife SEN, 14th September
Perth SEN, 28th September
Angus SEN, 29th September
Social Enterprise Ceilidh, 18-19th November


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