The SENs: Friday 1st December 2017

Last week’s Briefing – Cinema and Community Regeneration – highlighted the work of three Cultural SEN members in addressing cultural isolation, improving well-being and sustaining community cohesion. The Cultural SEN itself has been on the go since 2009 and now has around 120 SEs engaged with it. In the recent SE Census, cultural and creative organisations represented the second biggest grouping of SEs across Scotland – and the largest in urban areas. It was alarming therefore to read this week that Scotland’s cultural and creative community is bracing itself for significant funding cuts following the Scottish Budget next month. The broader cultural sector makes a considerable contribution to the Scottish economy –via 70,000 jobs – as well as having an undoubted track record in its contribution to education, health and well-being. The impact of such cuts will be felt in communities across Scotland.


Next week’s SE Conference will include the launch of SCRT’s first Community Bond – the SEN Loan Fund. This Loan Fund has been set up specifically for SEN members –  and has already generated quite a bit of interest. The Fund’s target is to raise £100k between now and May 2018 – with the intention of providing micro; unsecured; low cost and patient loans to SEN members. Bonds will be available from £50 for a single bond – repayable upon maturity – and can be purchased by organisations or individuals. For more info’ on the SEN Loan Fund and how to invest, email See Application Form.


Last year, 25 social enterprises took part in AIM2Flourish, the world’s first global initiative steering future business leaders towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Final Year Glasgow Caley (GCU) Business School students interviewed SEs across Scotland and produced short case studies to showcase their social impact. Social Firms Scotland and Senscot will be working with GCU again this year – and are looking for 50 SEs to take part. If you are interested in being involved, please email Jayne Chappell. You will be asked to supply some basic (and brief!) information about your social enterprise which will be sent on to GCU. Here’s some further info for potential participants.


Yesterday saw around 35 people attend the ‘Talking Social Enterprise in Argyll’ event in Inveraray. The event was jointly hosted InspirAlba, UnLtd Scotland, Senscot and P4P –  and also saw the launch of the Argyll and Bute SE Census 2017. Other items being addressed included opportunities for collaboration; developing a bespoke Action Plan for Argyll and Bute; as well as hosting their own Dragons’ Den. The area has had a challenging couple of year’s in terms of the resource available to support social enterprises including no resource available to support a SEN and general networking activity. Despite the lack of resource social enterprises yesterday committed to reforming the SEN and to showcasing the wide range of products and services being delivered generating significant social impact across Argyll and Bute.


This year we have produced a series of Social Enterprise Briefings which focus on themes highlighted by SEN members. December’s Briefing will focus on ‘Dementia and Social Enterprise’ – and we are keen to include a listing of SEN member’s dementia-related activities, services and products. To be included please add your details in this short survey monkey before Friday 15th December.


Following on from above, January’s SE Briefing will focus on ‘Social Enterprise and Social Prescribing’- with a meeting being held on 17th Jan, 11am – 1pm (venue tbc). This meeting is open to SEN members who are currently involved in or have an interest in social prescribing. The aims is to: identify current social enterprise activity in social prescribing; consider the contribution of social enterprise to achieving local outcomes; explore potential opportunities for partnership working; and consider social enterprise support needs to engage locally and nationally. For further information, contact




TENDERS: Supply of Biomass Pellets and Chips – Aberdeenshire Council, Adult Respite service – North Ayrshire Council, SCALE Summer School 2018-19 – Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.


CONFERENCE: The SE Conference – Collaborating Towards a Sharing Economy – has sold out for overnight places, but there are still limited numbers of day delegate places left. See more details and register.


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.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Local Film Festival Challenge Fund is offering one-off grants of between £1k and £5k for activity to take place in the first quarter of 2018. See eligibility and apply.


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 NEWS: A total of 16 individuals from across Scotland have been awarded funding from the Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The awards were delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s start up social enterprise development agency. Read full story.


NEWSLETTER: The latest Health & Wellbeing newsletter is out, including news of a community café network being set up in Glasgow and new policy developments. Read the newsletter here.


WORKSHOP: GSEN has teamed up with the West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations to put on a session exploring relationships between both sets of members. The ten-year social enterprise strategy will be drawn upon to unearth potential collaborative opportunities between both sets of members. 18th January. Register here.


EVENT: The Scottish Government is currently in the engagement phase for a national culture strategy, gathering ideas and views through engagement events. Next event Dunfermline, 6th December. Register here.


EVENT: PwC will be hosting a Christmas fair at their offices in Glasgow. They’re keen to speak to social enterprises who would be interesting in a free stall to sell/promote their products. 12-2pm, 6th December. Please contact Maggie Robb on to register your interest.


EVENT: Carnegie Trust UK are hosting an event to explore the role that communities have to improve well-being and reduce loneliness. 12th December, The Lighthouse, Glasgow. See event flyer.


Dates for the Diary


Clacks SEN, 4th December

Fife SEN, 13th December
Moray SEN, 14th December
Aberdeen SEN, 10th January


Best wishes,