Networks1st Update: Friday 3rd July 2009

Yesterday, after the series of events held over recent months, Senscot met up with RISE to discuss Scottish interest in the Social Enterprise Mark. Things are moving ahead with a view to launching a new C.I.C Limited by Shares to run the SEM. This is expected to be launched UK wide at the end of this year. We took the opportunity to visit the Watershed in the centre of Bristol and The Piernan Centre in St Paul’s. Both are `Markholders` who felt it has been a great boost in getting the message out to the general public that any money spent in their venues goes back into the community – for everyone’s benefit. Watershed is a great example of a Cultural social enterprise running a cinema, an events venue, a great cafe/restaurant, and also a couple of cutting edge communications trading arms. The Piernan Centre is a multi-use community hub which hires out office space, reception rooms for conferences and weddings as well as facilitating a number of large multicultural festivals.

Last Friday, Atlantis Leisure ( in Oban hosted an event funded by Carnegie UK Trust. The event was to look at the value of rural communities running their own public services. Atlantis Leisure is an outstanding examples of the added value social enterprise can bring to delivering public services. Going for the last 17 years, the organisation has used its own experience, as well as three other case studies, to identify key elements for success to deliver community solutions to community issues.  The event was opened by Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy, and Tourism, who said "As constituency MSP for Argyll & Bute and as Minister responsible for the Government’s work with social enterprise, I really welcome this event as it promises to broadcast many good ideas and help many more communities create new resilient social enterprises."

Senscot is always keen to connect up and promote the message about social enterprise to as wide an audience as possible. One idea we have, together with the Social Enterprise Academy and Firstport, is to promote social enterprise to the social entrepreneurs of ‘the very near future’. Jointly, we intend hosting a road show, linking young people interested in becoming social entrepreneurs with social enterprises in their area – through the Networks.  Any LSEN interested in hosting a local ‘Social Enterprise Futures’ event should contact

Case Study

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 still one of the most active Networks, with around 18 members and is a formal member of the Local Social Economy Partnership. At start up, FSEN had financial support from the Social Enterprise Development Partnership, which funded a part-time Administrator which helped enormously to establish FSEN.

Network Notices

Every vote counts for Aberdeen SEN member, the Breadmaker. They have been shortlisted for the semi-finals of the National Lottery Good Causes Award and need public votes to get them through to the finals. Voting started on 22nd June and goes through to 10th July. You can vote on line – <> – or by phone on 0844 686 2809 (it only costs 5p).They`d really appreciate your support. Last year, in a similar public vote, Fife SEN member, The Ecology Centre, won £318 000 from the Lottery`s Primetime Programme.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs’ latest programme ‘Motivate to Innovate’ will include up to £6K investment funding for early stage and start-up new enterprises. In August, the programme will recruit 12 individuals from the Fife region who wish to set up a social enterprise. Participants will be able to tap into grant monies to develop their business idea if they achieve set milestones through their business progression.  Similar programmes will also be promoted in Clackmannan, Ayrshire and West Lothian in the next three years.  For further information or an application pack, please contact Tracey Muirhead at BRAG Enterprises Ltd on 01592 860296 or

For those interested in the story of the Grammen Bank, set up by Muhammad Yunus, there is a programme by BBC Scotland on Tuesday 7th July at 22.35 on BBC 1.

Dates for the Diary

East Lothian SEN Thurs 9th July,
Glasgow SEN Fri 31st July,
Invercylde SEN Fri 14th August,
Clacks SEN, Wed 19th Aug,
Tayside SEN, Thurs 20th Aug,
Edinburgh SEN, Tues 25th Aug,
Fife SEN, Wed 26th Aug