The SENs: Friday 11th July 2014

Having a common understanding on how to measure social impact has proved elusive both to third sector organisations and to funders. We have gone ‘round the block’ from SROI to social auditing and accounting – without ever reaching a consensus on the most satisfactory way on achieving this. In recognition of this, and in light of SE’s prominence in the EU’s new operational programmes, the EU has now published a new standard to allow SEs to better measure and demonstrate their social impact and, in turn, help them in their discussions with partners, investors, and public sector funders. The ‘standard’ proposes a more flexible five stage approach – adaptable to the needs of different social enterprises. We’ll get the reaction of some folk ‘in the know’ and feedback their take on this. See more. Senscot attended the Highland Third Sector Interface Seminar this week in Ullapool – on the theme, ‘Enterprising Thinking: Community Lead Solutions for Health & Social Care Needs’. Whilst there was plenty positive discussion amongst ‘Integration partners’ – a cause for concern was that ‘statutory partners’ still appear to see engaging with the Third Sector as primarily a cost benefit. It was reported that there had been little uptake of Highland Council’s £1m Community Challenge Fund – see more – with the observation that whilst there were a lot of good ideas – not enough were replacing existing services at less cost. If, as this example appears to suggest, the third sector is simply to be included as a cheaper option, the opportunity for real partnership working and innovation will be lost. See guidance notes. Good news for social enterprises in Fife with the announcement of the new Social Enterprise Growth and Innovation (SEGI) Fund. The Fund will be administered by BRAG Enterprises and is open to existing and new start SEs in Fife. Average awards will be £2,700. For more info’, see details or contact Callum Gow. Last week’s joint statement from Senscot Legal and OSCR has triggered quite a bit of interest. The statement seeks to address some of the regulatory challenges faced by SEs becoming charities and vice versa – in an effort to make the process easier and quicker to navigate for all parties. Here it is again.  For more info’ contact Karina. Bank of Scotland has been in touch with regard to their new funding initiative – the Financial Inclusion Grants Programme – which will provide funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to registered Scottish charities, enabling them to deliver projects that promote financial inclusion and money advice. Deadline is Monday 4th August. See more. On 3rd Sept at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow, CEiS hosts its annual Social Enterprise Policy and Practice Conference.  Senscot has secured 25 discounted places (£50 plus VAT) – for SEN members only. These are being allocated on a first come, first served basis. To book your place, contact Tariq – half have been taken up already. CEiS has also provided updated programme, see more. Date for the diary – this year’s Senscot’s Social Enterprise Conference and Ceilidh will be taking place on Thursday, 13th November at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. The theme this year will be ‘Reflect and Celebrate’ as the conference is now in its 10th year. Full programme will be available end of July/early August. Notices TENDERS: Care and Repair Handyperson Service – North Lanarkshire Council, Print and Scan for Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board – Renfrewshire Council and Community Garden – Feasibility Study – Strathpeffer Residents’ Association. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterSCREENING: See how the Skye Bridge protesters outwitted the Bank of America in media co-op’s film The Bridge Rising, screening on the 14th July in Edinburgh. EU FUNDING: Social Investment Scotland announced it has been awarded €65,000 of EU funding as part of a €80,000 project to support its efforts at helping third sector organisations take on investment finance. EXHIBTION: Art & Autism: Andrew Gilchrist previews on Tuesday 5th August from 6pm to 8pm at the Gallery on the Corner. FUNDING: Tayport Community Trusts plans to bring a multi-faceted Community Hub to the town have received a boost, by being moved forward to Stage 2 of an application process to the Big Lottery’s Growing Community Assets fund. ARTWORK: ‘The Way We See It’ is the title of an exhibition showcasing art work created by members of the Grassmarket Community Project. Preview on 10th July.  Dates for the DiaryFalkirk SEN, 29th JulyMoray SEN, 6th AugustGlasgow SEN, 6th AugustInverclyde SEN, 13th AugustFalkirk SEN, 27th AugustFife SEN AGM, 3rd SeptemberFalkirk SEN, 25th SeptemberSouth Ayrshire SEN Conference, 21st November  Best wishes,