The SENs: Friday 16th January 2015

There is no doubt that 2015 will be another busy year for SENs and their members. This week saw the first SEN Co-ordinators meeting of the year. As well as sharing their experiences/challenges/opportunities etc, it is also a chance to discuss other issues or trends of wider concern. The subject of ‘failure’ raised its head again – with a couple of SEN members closing their doors over recent weeks. Another trend that has emerged is a number of SE’s choosing to set up as private organisations instead? We’ll be looking at these in more depth in the year ahead – as well as further development of thematic SEs at a local level; trade fairs; business to business events and more. For more SENs News, see here. The European Structural Funds 2014-2020 Operational Programmes for ERDF & ESF have now been added to the Scottish Government website.  Each Operational Programme is accompanied by an annex containing the relevant graphs and tables. These are the final versions of the Operational Programmes – having been approved by the European Commission. Edinburgh SEN is hosting a breakfast information session on the new Scottish Community Re:Investment Trust with Pauline Hinchion, Director of Operations. It will be held on Friday 30th January at 9.00 – 10.30am in the Serenity Café, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. For more ESEN news, see the newsletter published this week. Since 2009, Firstport has supported 285 individuals looking to start up their own social enterprises – distributing £2.5m across Scotland from the Social Entrepreneurs Fund. Good news this week is that Scottish Govt is investing another £500k into the programme. See more. Dundee and Sport SEN member, Factory Skatepark, is set to take over the soft play and entertainment centre Pirate Island in Dundee – with £300,000 investment from Social Investment Scotland. The purchase of Pirate Island, which currently houses an adventure area, basketball and football area, party rooms and a café, will bring the facilities into third sector hands and, we’re sure, make them more accessible to local community groups. See more. SCVO has announced that round 2 applications are now being sought from third sector organisations, SMEs and sole traders involved in the Arts and Creative industries to host a graduate intern to support their creative business growth. Eligible organisations will have the opportunity to recruit an unemployed graduate from an Arts and Creative background to undertake a 13 week, full time, paid internship that will allow the organisation to complete a specific piece or work/project. See more. To celebrate The International Women’s Day, on 11th of March , The Melting Pot, will give the stage to three successful female entrepreneurs: Javita Narang from India and UK based Weaving Destination, Sylvia Douglas from Glasgow-based start-up MsMissMrs, and Jackie Scutt from 160 year old YWCA Scotland, which is at an exciting rebranding process. They will be interviewed by The Melting Pot’s Managing Director Claire Carpenter. On this night they will explore the meaning, impact and importance of the empowerment of women on a local, national and international level. More information and tickets available here.  Notices TENDERS: Fund Administrator – Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company, The Plock of Kyle, Interpretation and Design – Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust, Coaching / Governance – Colonsay Community Development Company, Briggait Phase 2 Integrated Design Team – The Wasps Trust and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterMARKET: Renfrew Development Trust is holding their second Farmers Market and Fayre on 31st Jan in Renfrew Town Hall. It is looking for social enterprise and fair trade stalls to boost their already successful stallholders. PRINCE’S TRUST: Aberdeen Foyer looking for participants for the next Foyer Prince’s Trust Team at Peterhead.
 UPDATE: The Engine Shed is sadly now in the closing down stage of its work and the last day of trading is Saturday 21st Feb. The Saturday café and the farmer market stall will be the final two activities.

MENTORS: The Melting Pot is seeking mentors for the awardees of the Social Innovation Incubator Award.

COURSES: +Acumen has published details of upcoming free online courses. Many of these are related to social enterprise activities. 
Dates for the Diary
 Dundee SEN, 28th JanuarySport SEN North East, Aberdeen, 29th JanuaryGlasgow SEN, 4th FebruarySport SEN North, Inverness, 5th FebruaryWest Lothian SEN, 11th FebruaryInverclyde SEN, 17th FebruaryFalkirk SEN, 17th FebruaryFalkirk SEN, 17th MarchGlasgow SEN, 1st April  Best wishes,