Networks1st Update: Friday 2nd October 2009

I attended the ‘Healthier Lives, Wealthier Communities’ in Edinburgh this week. A key theme was the importance of demonstrating added value and that the statutory and private sectors should also be required to report on this just as much as for Third Sector organisations. The other key issue was the growing recognition that Community Benefit Clauses will have an important role to play in social enterprises getting their foot in the door! Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs) were also on the agenda with NHS Health Scotland looking to deliver a series of SOA Planning events to make sure public health targets are delivered. This sounds like an excellent idea and an exercise that the LSENs could certainly benefit from. Senscot and SSEC have commissioned the Pool to review how social enterprise is figuring in SOAs. We’ll have the full report next week but early indications are that it will make pretty depressing reading.

The Argyll and Bute SEN held their 2 day Trade Fair and Dragons Den this week. 70 delegates and speakers attended the event in Oban. Speakers over the 2 days included Jim Mather, MSP Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Dharmendra Kanani, Director, BIG Lottery along with presentations from BRAG Enterprises, Social Investment Scotland, the Social Enterprise Academy, Argyll & Bute Council on Procurement and Recycle Fife on the theme of Adopt, Survive and Connect. This year’s Dragons Den winners; Bute Community Land Company took away £5000 in an award from Firstport . Bridgend Kitchen Garden, Islay, Kintyre Recycling Ltd and Ardrishaig Community Trust also won prizes of £1000, £500 prizes and coaching sessions from the Social Enterprise Academy. See for more details about ABSEN and the conference.  

The Tayside SEN is involved in discussions around procurement with NHS Tayside.  The NHS in Tayside is keen to engage with social enterprises in a drive to increase the sustainability of their procurement process.  Members of the SEN are taking part in a pilot scheme delivering small contracts with support from the new Ready for Business Programme.  If successful it could lead to consortia between members to deliver larger contracts. 

Case Study:

Aberdeen Social Enterprise Network was the second network to establish itself 4 years ago. On hearing of the Fife SEN a group of social enterprises led by Instant Neighbour and Aberdeen Foyer got off the mark and set up their own.


Bookings are still open for the Ceilidh and the Dragons Den at New Lanark, 19th & 20th November.  Booking forms at

A couple of Aspire to Enterprise Events worth noting:

– next in the series of FREE one day workshops specifically developed for social enterprises who have the potential to take advantage of procurement opportunities for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is taking place in Glasgow next Thursday (8th October). More here

– Marketing for Social Enterprise, Aspire to Enterprise: How does your organisation move to a marketing perspective? What strategic and tactical questions do you need to answer and is there an advantage in promoting your social aims? – this fee half day seminar is guaranteed jargon free! 21 Oct, 09

Dates for the diary

Clackmannanshire SEN, Wed 14th Oct
East Lothian SEN, Thurs 15th Oct
Edinburgh SEN, Thurs 15th Oct
Sport SEN, Mon 26th Oct
Fife SEN, Wed 28th Oct