The SENs: Friday 8th December 2017

The SE conference 2017 is currently in its second day – with over 140 delegates from across the country – 70% from frontline social enterprises. Yesterday morning saw some lively discussion around support for start-up enterprises; the role of SENs; and the pros and cons of adopting Buy Social in Scotland – followed by ‘showcases’ from five SEN members. The afternoon session covered a series of workshops and culminated with a particularly impressive round of Dragons’ Den pitches. Lingo Flamingo and Weekday Wow Factor shared the £5,000 top prize with Glasgow Piano Project, Kibbleworks and Galgael in a split Dragons decision. Lingo Flamingo and Weekday Wow Factor also walked away with the Audience Prize, capping a great night for the partnership. Today’s session sees some further ‘showcasing’ of the work of another five SEN members and their work in addressing issues around dementia. The day ends with an open session on ‘failure’ – and creating a more supportive and collaborative environment for fellow social enterprises. More on all this next week.


This week’s SE conference saw the launch of SCRT’s first Community Bond – the SEN Loan Fund. This Loan Fund has been set up specifically for SEN members and was greeted with an encouraging level of interest at the Westerwood Hotel on Thursday and Friday. 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.


Our sector is filled with inspiring people whose contribution to the social economy and beyond, while not unnoticed, goes largely unrecognised. Congratulations, then, to GSEN manager Elizabeth McKenna, who has been given a Scottish Tourism Alliance 12 Days of Christmas Cheer award for her tireless efforts to promote and develop the network. Nominated by our Culture & Tourism coordinator Sarah Cameron, Elizabeth won lunch for two in the Boat House restaurant at Cameron House and a trip on a luxury motor cruiser. “Without Elizabeth’s hard work and dedication, the social enterprises in the city would not be engaged in the city tourism agenda.” Here, here, from all at Senscot.


This year we have produced a series of Social Enterprise Briefings which focus on themes highlighted by SEN members. Our next Briefing will focus on ‘Dementia and Social Enterprise’ and as part of ongoing efforts to promote SEN members’ activity, we are keen to include a listing of dementia-related activities among members. Whether it is a product you have developed, a service you are providing or an opportunity to collaborate around dementia care, please get in touch in order to be included in the Briefing. Add your details in this short survey monkey before Friday 15th December.


The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has announced a new funding programme which aims to help organisations overcome barriers to developing their business idea. The Coalfields Enterprise Support Programme will offer awards up to a maximum of £10,000 to organisations who look to address skills development, increase employment opportunities and improve general health and well-being in communities. Applicants must be located in a former coalfield community and be able to commence their project by 31st March 2018. Find out more and apply.


Perthshire SEN member Motorvate Therapies Ltd won the ‘Commitment to the Community Award’ last week at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards. Motorvate Therapies aim to provide therapy and literacy services to support young people and their families living with additional support needs. With over 400 people in attendance at the awards ceremony, it’s great to see more and more SEN members getting the recognition they deserve for continuing to make a positive impact in their communities.




TENDERS: Provision of Nursery Services – Robert Gordon University, CARES Community Engagement Framework – Energy Saving Trust Ltd, Adult Care Services for High Complex Needs – South Lanarkshire Council. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.


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.


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.


WORKSHOP: The Women’s Organisation are running a workshop aimed at people who wish to understand the Four Step social accounting process to work with social economy organisations.


WORKSHOP: Just Enterprise are running a workshop to explain how an organisation can accurately cost their services on a full cost recovery basis. The workshop is free, and will be delivered at Dundee Carers Centre on Monday 11th December. See details and sign up.


EVENT: Tribe Porty are hosting their third annual Christmas Makers Market, a convergence of local artisans selling the perfect festive gift. 12-4pm, Saturday 9th December, Tribe Porty, Edinburgh. See details.



Dates for the Diary

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


Best wishes,