The SENs: Friday 15th December 2017

Last week’s SE Conference at the Westerwood seemed to go well – feedback forms out this week with full report due in early January. With 140 folk gathering from across the SE community, it provided an opportunity for grassroot SEs to discuss and explore a range of key issues. In addition to a catalogue of inspiring and entertaining presentations, there appeared a genuine desire to agree active measures where we can collaborate and support one another better. Although there is a lot of positivity about SE in Scotland, there is no avoiding the reality that the bulk of our sector is fragile. Following our feedback, we will explore with SENs and others, specific actions that can be taken to help build the resilience of our sector. Look back at #SocEntConf17 with this snapshot of the event’s social media activity.


Although it was only a small part of last week’s event, the launch by SCRT of its first Community Bond Offer is a significant a step for SENs and their members. The Bond is being set up specifically with the intention of establishing the SEN Loan Fund (SLF) – which will look to provide micro, unsecured, low-cost and patient loans to SEN members. At a time when our sector needs to show its ability to collaborate with and support its constituents, this initiative is a perfect vehicle of demonstrating this support in a practical way. Senscot has written to individual SENs asking that they give every consideration to supporting this initiative, and to promote it amongst their members. So far – after one week – we believe around 10% of the targeted £100k has been reached. Bonds are available at £50 for a single bond – repayable upon maturity. For more info’ on the Community Bond Offer and how to invest, email See Application Form.


The first Health SEN meeting of 2018 will take place on the morning of Tuesday 23rd January at our Glasgow office. As well as an opportunity to network with other Health SEN members, someone from the P4P team will be available for any partnership and procurement issues you’d like to chat through. Confirm your attendance here.  Following this, there will be a session in the afternoon for Unlocking Potential participants. There are still a few places available for Health SEN members keen to participate in this impact evaluation pilot being carried out by Assist Social Capital as part of the SG Social Enterprise Strategy. Read more and contact Mary if interested.


Fife SEN held its first formal meeting in over a year on Wednesday at the Volunteer Centre in Kirkcaldy. Around 25 folk attended – and heard some short presentations from P4P, Senscot Legal, Fife Council and Enterprise Screen. It looks like the SEN will now be meeting again on a regular basis. Fife was where the first SEN was set up in 2004 on the back of BRAG’s collaboration with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). Founding members were, in the main, ‘graduates’ of the SSE programme. The Fife SEN has had its ups and downs but, on the back of Wednesday’s meeting and turnout, there appears to be a real appetite to get things back up and running – which is great news for SEs in Fife – but also for SENs across the country.


We encourage all SEN members to sign up to the Ready for Business Register which is maintained by our colleagues in the P4P team. This is a useful resource for purchasers to search for third sector organisations from which to purchase their services or products. Find out more.


Reminder: Round 2 of the Social Economy Growth Fund closes next Friday 22nd December 2017. The Fund is for social enterprises and third sector organisations looking to improve and increase services and support for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage. Its focus will be to help organisations grow their capacity by creating new/expanding existing services and/or employing additional staff. The Fund will support organisations with a proven track record of working successfully with individuals and families who experience disadvantage, poverty and social exclusion.




TENDERS: Practitioner Advice Service Evaluation – One Parent Families Scotland, Tillydrone Community Hub (7703) – Aberdeen City Council, Provision of Nursery Services – Robert Gordon University. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.


JOBS: There are a number of jobs and volunteering opportunities advertised on the Senscot Jobs board, including Project Officer at Caledonian Woodlands and Administrator at Glasgow Wood Recycling. See all listings.


BRIEFING: CommonHealth have released the latest in their series of briefing papers. ‘Conceptualising the Impact of Social Enterprise’, reflecting on the importance of opening up new perspectives on the actions and impacts of social enterprise. Take a look here.


NEWSLETTER: GSEN’s latest update was published yesterday, with news of the Glasgow Third Sector Summit, a profile of Good at Buchanan Galleries, and a look back at the SE Conference last week. Read the newsletter.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Big Issue Invest’s Power Up programme is aiming to help up to 20 early-stage social ventures in Scotland by providing access loan funding of up to £50k over the next two years. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Opportunities for Young People Grant Funding has been allocated to support the delivery of informal opportunities for young people in Aberdeenshire’s communities. Aberdeenshire’s Community Learning & Development Service will consider applications and most awards will be up to a maximum of £5000. See more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: A grant support scheme has been launched to assist the development and creation of social enterprises in Aberdeenshire. The £200k Social Enterprise Support Fund which is open for applications until March 2019. See more and apply.


Check our Noticeboard for all funding opportunities, our Jobs page for vacancies and our Events Calendar to keep up to date with workshops, SEN meetings and more.



Dates for the Diary


Aberdeen SEN, 10th January
ESEN AGM, 31st January



Best wishes,