Social Enterprise Network Scotland

As of 1st July 2020, Senscot and Social Firms Scotland have come together to form the new entity – Social Enterprise Network Scotland – and follows on from the close working relationship that has evolved, in particular, over the last decade.

Over the last 20 years, Senscot and Social Firms Scotland have worked to support the development and growth of social enterprise including social firms across Scotland. Together they have been instrumental in shaping the existing support infrastructure at both a national and local level. Currently the two organisations work with a combined constituency of over 1500 local social enterprises – made up of over 200 social firms and 22 local and thematic social enterprise networks (SENs) that support over 1300 social enterprises.

Social Enterprise Network Scotland will now take on a more formal role as the de facto representative body for front-line social and community enterprises in Scotland. In taking on this role, it will:

  • Continue to connect and inform social enterprises and social firms across Scotland.
  • Facilitate and support social firms and SENs and their respective members
  • Work in partnership with others to continue to develop the sector in Scotland and offer solutions to issues faced in local communities.
  • Represent the interests and values of the front-line SE community in Scotland – in shaping policy and strategy with Scottish Govt.
  • Seek to influence and contribute to the development of policies that add value to communities across Scotland.
  • Raise awareness of social enterprise – through various channels – promoting good practice; and identifying issues affecting social enterprises and their communities.

Social Enterprise Network Scotland recognises that social enterprise forms part of a wider movement – and will take cognisance of the wider and evolving operating environment. We will actively build connections and seek to collaborate with others – including national and local membership bodies – to ensure that we create strategic alliances and a powerful voice for our members that can help bring greater benefits to communities across Scotland.

Social Enterprise Network Scotland will use the Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland – as its benchmark for identifying and recognising social and community  enterprises – in line with the Scottish SE Strategy and Action Plan – as well as numerous local SE strategies.

We will build on the track record and relationships established over 20 years via Senscot and Social Firms Scotland – continuing to influence policy and represent the interests of the SE community across various Government departments and agencies, including – Third Sector Unit, Employability, Business, Fair Work and Skills, Health, Culture, Tourism, Justice, HIE, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland, Visit Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, sportscotland, Museums & Galleries Scotland & Historic Environment Scotland.

  1. Governance and Structure

Social Enterprise Network Scotland is being set up as a Company Ltd by Guarantee with Charitable status – with effect from 1st July 2020. At present, and during this transition period, the activity of Social Enterprise Network is being overseen by a Shadow Board – comprising of 4 representatives of the current Senscot Board and four representatives from the Board of Social Firms Scotland. As of 1st July 2020, the Shadow Board will become the formal Board of Trustees.

The organisation will be a membership-led organisation – with full membership open to individual social enterprises; SENs; social firms; and other national or local membership organisations. Associate membership will be open to any other organisation (public, private, Third Sector) and individuals with an interest in supporting the development of social enterprise in Scotland. The organisation will absorb an initial membership of around 1500 social enterprises and social firms – with this number expected to grow within the first six months.

At its first AGM, the members will elect its Board of Trustees (12 maximum) – which will include representation from Social Enterprise Networks (SENs); social firms; individual social enterprises; as well as two co-optees from the associate membership.

  1. Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of Social Enterprise Network Scotland will be to represent and support social enterprises and social firms in Scotland (as per SE Census 2019). Our approach will reflect the aspirations and objectives as set out in the SE Strategy for Scotland and reflect the priorities within the SE Action Plan/s.

Our core functions will include:

  • Raising the Profile
  • Representation and Policy Influencing
  • Information and Support
  • Networking, Peer Support and Connecting
  • Intelligence and Evaluation
  • Service Planning

July 2020