Networks1st Update: Friday 7th October 2011

This year’s Ceilidh is just about full. There are only a handful of places still available for ‘overnighters’ altho’ there will be additional places available for day delegates. If you don’t want to miss out, book your place here, More importantly, Friday 14th October is the deadline for applications enter the Dragons’ Den. As in previous years, we’ll be selecting 5 applicants to go forward to face the Dragons. If you’d like the chance to make a pitch to the Dragons and win £5,000, fill your form in here,   We will also have our programme finalised for next week.

East Lothian SEN member, Sustainable Dunbar, was delighted to announce this week the opening on the Dunbar Community Bakery. This new enterprise is jointly owned by over 300 local shareholders and employs eight local people, including three professional bakers. They hope that this can become a model for businesses run as social enterprises, providing local employment and training, providing quality goods and services needed by local people, helping to regenerate our town centre and reinvesting profits back into the community.
A campaign to set up a bakery was launched after the town’s long-standing Smith’s family bakery closed in 2008 when the owner retired. The opening was also featured on the BBC website. See,

As you will know, Networks 1st has been active over the past year in promoting the role SENs and social enterprise have to play in the successful delivery local Third Sector Interface functions. As part of this process, we will be delivering a workshop at Voluntary Action Scotland’s Conference on 30th/31st October at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld.
We intend to use to opportunity to try and strengthen links between SENs and their local Interfaces. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Senscot has been involved in supporting Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) since 2004 – the first was in Fife. Today, there are 22 SENs – 16 local and 6 thematic. Between them, over 350 social enterprises are active or engaged with a local or thematic SEN. They are all different – some have matured, others less so – but all remain an important reference point for their members. Over the coming weeks, we will be updating the Networks 1st website to better reflect to scale, diversity and activity of the SENs. Part of this will include a Usability Survey which we will be circulating next week. See,

1st October was The Melting Pot’s 4th Birthday – and they have a special birthday offer for all friends and supporters. Over this short time they have worked with over 350 Members from small start-ups to large brand-name NGOs, and thousands of guests have used their events facilities…They’re giving away a special birthday present to all their friends and supporters – for a £40 voucher for use of our meeting room (normally available from just £16 per hour inc VAT) and/or 5 hours free use of co-working space when you join their Networker package. To claim to offer, quote ‘It’s my birthday too’ at your time of booking, and all offers are valid only once per organisation and are for use anytime before the end of 2011. For more, visit,


TENDERS:  There are 44 live tender opportunities on the Ready for Business website including Halbeath Park & Choose – Car Park and Facilities Building, Provision of catering services for Scottish Public Pension Agency and staff at HMP Edinburgh, Tendered Local Bus Services in Angus and a Feasibility Study into a Hydro Energy Project in Bannockburn. For more info, see

SOCIAL MEDIA EVENT: This years ‘Be Good Be Social’ event takes place in Edinburgh on 3/11/11. The event brings together third sector / social enterprises interested in social media for social good. It is a chance to learn, debate and connect with your peers. Tickets go very quickly but the organisers have got in touch to kindly offer network members 5 free places. Contact if you are interested in attending.  For further information visit

WORKSHOPS: Upcoming business development workshops and leadership programmes through Just Enterprise, with several taking place in Dundee.  See more

JOB OPPORTUNITY: A position has opened up at SBC that will provide an excellent opportunity, for someone with the compatible skills and attributes, to develop an exciting career in sustainability and responsible business. The SBC team are from a wide range of backgrounds and join SBC to help drive ‘Better Business for a Better Scotland’.  See more

VOTES NEEDED: The RBS Community Force initiative has caught the attention of a good number of SEN members – winning projects stand to win an award of £6,000 each. Who wins is decided by a public vote to take place – ending on 21st October. See,

SHORT FILM: Wind of Change is a short documentary that shows how Fintry in rural Stirlingshire, Scotland, has embraced renewable energy for a more sustainable future for their village.  See more

Case Study: East Lothian

East Lothian SEN met for the first time in February 2006 in Haddington.   With the help of funding from Communities Scotland, ‘Social Enterprise in East Lothian’ developed a website and directory of social enterprises in the area.  In March 2008 they ran their first conference which was opened and chaired by the Leader of East Lothian Council.

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Aberdeenshire SEN, 20th Oct
D&G SEN, 20th Oct
Stirlingshire SEN, 25th Oct
Inverclyde SEN 25th October
Angus SEN, 26th Oct
Fife SEN, 2nd Nov
Enterprising Procurement in Ayrshire, 3rd Nov
West Lothian, 8th Nov
Youth SEN, 9th Nov
Community Food SEN, 16th Nov
Ceilidh (New Lanark), 17th /18th Nov



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