The SENs: Friday 26th January 2018

In 2016, Senscot carried out a review of our thematic SEN activity – to re-visit their original focus and also to determine key priorities in moving forward. This was especially relevant with the introduction of a number new policy initiatives from Scottish Govt. These included: Health & Social Care Integration; Self-Directed Support; Food Poverty; Tourism & Heritage; Creative Industries; Sport for Change; and Employability. In 2017, an online survey of SEN members also identified a number of ‘issues’ within these priority areas such as: Loneliness & Social Isolation; Dementia; and Cinema & Regeneration – all offering scope for collaboration between both thematic and local SEN members. Much of this work has been reflected in our recent series of SE Policy Briefings. We now feel the time is right to re-visit these priorities via a new Tick-Box survey. We’d appreciate if you could take 5 mins to complete. Thanks.


Could your social enterprise do with a bit of free promotion? Is it working to achieve any of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals? Do you have a spare 45 minutes to talk about your organisation? If so, consider taking part as a case study in the forthcoming Aim2Flourish in Scotland programme. Working with Senscot and Social Firms Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University aim to profile 50 Scottish social enterprises, who will then be showcased globally by Aim2Flourish, a platform to explore the positive role that business can play in society. If your social enterprise would like to take part in GCU’s showcase, please contact Jayne Chappell.


We’re very keen to promote the Community Bond Offer launched by SCRT at the SE Conference in December. A lack of access to affordable microloans and bridging loans is a serious impediment to the growth of small-scale social enterprises, something which the Bond hopes to remedy. The money raised from the Community Bond will establish a SEN Loan Fund, available to code compliant SEN members – providing a new vehicle for delivering social impact in communities across Scotland. Individuals, trustees and organisations are all invited to buy bonds, which start at £50 and offer 2% interest on investment. Please continue to share widely with your networks. An application form is available to download here and all other information is available on the Scottish Communities Finance Ltd website.


Last week SEN members got together to talk about some of the opportunities and challenges in contributing towards local social prescribing models and started to explore increased SE involvement in both formal and informal local social prescribing activity.  With next month’s Senscot Briefing Paper focusing on Social Prescribing and the role of social enterprise, we’d be delighted to hear from SEN members that would be interested in participating in the briefing as a case study or in the social enterprise listings. Email for more information.


Sarah is arranging a Community Learning Exchange to Dornoch  on 8th March to learn about community tourism with Dornoch CIC.  This CLE will be an opportunity to see some of the attractions, speak to the business group and learn about how they united a community and brought in the resources to create a better visitor offer while at the same time preserving cultural heritage, developing business opportunities and improving services. Spaces are limited on this CLE so if you are interested in attending please contact


Social Value Lab, the social think tank behind works such as the 2015 and 2017 SE Census, is currently developing a new toolkit to help SEs measure their social impact. Having evaluated the difficulties in implementing effective and accurate social impact measurement (SIM), Social Value Lab has identified the main barriers to SIM – the complexities involved; confusion around the value of SIM; and a lack of capacity of small organisations to undertake SIM. Social Value Lab is now working in partnership with the Scottish Government, Social Enterprise Academy and others to “demystify and democratise social enterprise measurement”. Express your interest here in trying out free social impact measurement advice, learning and tools.




TENDERS: Supported Living Services for Adults with a Learning Disability – Aberdeen City Council, Provision of Homecare Services – Inverclyde Council, Summer Attraction – The City of Edinburgh Council.


WORKSHOP: The Hive is offering free half-day workshops for anyone looking to start a co-op or find out more about cooperatives. Tuesday 13th February in Edinburgh. Find out more and register.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Bank of Scotland Foundation is taking applications for small (£1-10k), medium (£10-25k) and large (£50-100k) grants for charities and social enterprises to improve communities and the lives of individuals. Find out if you qualify and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Weston Anniversary Fund will award grants up to £150,000 to provide new or improve existing community facilities. Open for applications until 30th June 2018. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The deadline to apply to Big Issue Invest’s Power Up investment programme has been extended to 31st January. The Power Up Scotland Programme is aiming to help up to 20 Scottish early-stage social ventures access loan funding of up to £50k over the next two years. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Life Changes Trust have a number of funding opportunities relating to dementia care. Find out more and apply.


EVENT: Not9to5 is hosting the third in a series of branding workshops at the Melting Pot in Edinburgh. Find out more and register.



Dates for the Diary

21st February, Aberdeen SEN

22nd February, Forth Valley SEN


Best wishes,