The SENs: Friday 23rd March 2018

Yesterday, a couple of dozen folk from representative organisations and frontline social enterprises met to discuss the progress of the SE Action Plan after its first twelve months and to consider priorities for the year ahead. Together, those attending currently represent around 2,500 SEs – around 50% of those identified in the SE Census 2017. This gathering is, at this stage, a sub-group of Scottish Govt’s official SE Action Plan Reference Group which meets two to three times a year. Its intention is to ensure that those who are in the front line or work to support grassroots SEs have a better opportunity to share their thoughts and bring greater influence on how and what should be delivered through the current and future Action Plans. Yesterday’s meeting focused on activity during 2017/18 and what might be programmed for 2018/19. Topics included Business Development Support – with a new tender looming up in the year ahead; Branding; and ensuring local consultation in the delivery of national programmes. A full report will be available next week. See attendees list and agenda.


Over the last year, Senscot has been involved with a number of highly productive and enjoyable Community Learning Exchanges (CLEs), with visits to CentreStage, ROAR, Garioch Sports Centre and Tower Digital Arts Centre. The visits, which are fully funded, offer a great opportunity for like-minded community groups and social enterprises to make connections, share knowledge and showcase best practice. It’s great news, then, that the Scottish Government has renewed the funding for CLEs for the next year at least, creating fresh opportunities for SEN members to glean valuable insights from one another over the next 12 months. See guidance about the CLE here and have a think about applying.


Following on from the recent Community Food SEN meeting, please find a note of the current issues identified and suggested solutions. We’re really keen to organise Community Learning Exchanges focusing on how SEs have approached sustainability and business growth in relation to community food activity and would love to hear from SEs interested in hosting or participating in a visit. Contact Mary for more info. In the meantime, A Financial Sustainability Guide from Sustainable Food Cities may be of interest.


In May, we will be publishing a paper focussing on the Year of Young People 2018 – Visit Scotland’s latest ‘focus year’ which aims to drive up tourism to Scotland. YoYP is a year-long line up of events, activities and opportunities celebrating the contribution of young people to Scottish society. In the paper, we will showcase examples of the work that goes on across the social enterprise sector in this area. If you would like your events and activities promoted in the paper, add your event using this form and select the Year of Young People category. A new fund is also available to help community groups run events and projects for young people – grants between £3,000 to £10,000 available.


Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is currently on the lookout for a consultant to deliver on research around future public sector procurement opportunities for the third sector in Scotland. The information gathered will enable P4P to engage with the sector around specific opportunities and deliver improved P4P support. In particular, the consultant will be required to produce a series of final report(s) to enable P4P to target support in key geographies and/or around clustering and collaboration. View the tender and apply here.


Community Enterprise has announced the winners of its ‘Brand for Growth’ Competition, designed to identify five social enterprises in a position to grow their capacity through high-quality investment in their brand. View the winners here.



TENDERS: Research into Public Sector Procurement Opportunities – P4P, Printing of West Lothian Council Bulletin – West Lothian Council, Tune into Tourism – Highlands and Islands Enterprise.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Year of Young People National Lottery Fund is offering grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to projects that focus on young people’s health and wellbeing. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Co-op’s Local Community Fund is opening its next round of funding applications. Deadline 8th April. Apply now.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The 3rd April deadline for the Scottish Government’s Self-Directed Support Fund is approaching. The fund aims to increase the delivery of independent support for people who require social care. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Voluntary Action Fund has opened its Workplace Equality Fund to support private businesses in reducing employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers in the workplace. Grants between £5k and £50k are available. Find out more and apply.


NEWSLETTER: The Health and Wellbeing newsletter is out now, with news of the Scottish Government’s Diet & Obesity strategy and all the latest funding and events. Read now.


EVENT: Edinburgh Social Enterprise invites new and existing members to their April network event, where you can meet other members and hear from support agencies, including First Port and Senscot. Register today.


CONSULTATION: The Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee is collecting views on Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding process for the period 2018-21. Submit evidence.


PUBLICATION: Differentiating the effect of social enterprise activities on health – a recent publication which builds on the work on social enterprise and health within the Yunus Centre. Free to access & download here.


Dates for the Diary

27th March, PKSEN

28th March, FSEN

25th April, ASEN

26th April, DSEN

15th May, Health SEN

16th May, GSEN


Best wishes,