Local SENs: What Are They?

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Published: 30.11.18

Executive Summary

Local Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) have been and continue to be established across Scotland – providing grassroots social enterprises with the support they need to connect, collaborate and grow at a local level.

The term ‘Network’ can be confusing – with different kinds of organisations from umbrella bodies to specialist service providers using the term. It is therefore worth clarifying what Local SENs are and what they’re not.

Today, there are 16 local SENs across Scotland – with over 900 social enterprises either members of constituted SEN or engaged with those unconstituted.

Between them, SEN members employ around 12,000 people and have a combined turnover of over £500m.

This paper outlines the function and impact of Scotland’s 16 SENs, placing them within the context of the Scottish Government’s ten-year Social Enterprise Strategy and three-year Action Plan.


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Case Studies

Dundee SEN delivers direct practical support and advice to Dundee’s social enterprise community around areas such as funding, procurement, business support and training. Visit its website.

Edinburgh Social Enterprise works to create opportunities for Edinburgh’s social enterprise community to develop and thrive, recognising its positive impact on society and the local community. Visit its website.

Fife SEN acts as an independent membership organisation which promotes, supports and represents social enterprises in Fife. The network was launched in 2004 with the backing of local social enterprises – supported from the outset by BRAG Enterprises. Visit its website.

Glasgow SEN is a membership network of social enterprise leaders operating in the Greater Glasgow Area. Since its set up in 2008, it has proven invaluable for members in providing a range of services from information-sharing and peer support to resources and access to events and training. Visit its website.

Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber works to promote and support the development of social enterprise in the Scottish Borders area. The Chamber works with members to develop local services from the bottom up, relying on an ethos of communication, collaboration and co-production. Visit its website.

West Lothian SEN is a member-led network organisation set up in 2013 to support the development of social enterprise in West Lothian. Visit its website.