The SENs: Friday 23rd January 2015

Next week Social Firms Scotland and Senscot head to Brussels to participate in the EU Social Entrepreneurship Network closing conference. The EU SEN has looked to share good practice via ‘peer review’ meetings over the last two years – with one of its primary aims being to ensure  a comprehensive support environment for social enterprises  across the EU; and to equip partners to promote and implement projects involving social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. The event will conclude with a presentation highlighting results and recommendations. We’ll circulate this next week. For info, here’s the programme and delegate list.

The Sport SEN has grown and meetings are now held regionally – for practical reasons. However, SEN members have agreed that they still wanted to come together as a national group once a year. This annual gathering will take place on Tuesday 31st March in Perth – and will provide an opportunity to network with sports social enterprises from across Scotland and engage in some useful chat. Hot topics – Sport for Development, connecting with the Corporate Sector, changes in health service delivery; group sessions with some of our top sports social entrepreneurs; sub-group discussions – incl. swimming pools, outdoor activities, sport centres etc; speed networking and lunch too! For more info and to book, see here.

One of our Community Food SEN members, The Fife Diet, is closing this March. After eight years (2007-2015), they are hanging up their boots. To celebrate what they have achieved and the wider local food movement they’re proud to be part of, they are inviting people to host their own local food lunch. At the ‘Sunday Lunch’ on 8th March, they are having the biggest and best community lunch they’ve ever held, with Fife Diet members, their friends, family and neighbours, all joining together in communities across the kingdom for one big meal, see more.

This week, Cultural and Creative Social Enterprise Network members met to discuss the idea of holding a national event to raise the profile of cultural and creative social enterprise.  The members are keen to focus on a pilot event this year, which will include social enterprises from across Scotland.  If you are interested in getting involved please contact Sarah.

Scottish Community Re:Investment Trust (SCRT) delivered its first workshop/seminar this week on the back of its recent launch last month. A group of organisations from across the third sector participated in a ‘Crowdfunding’ Masterclass – led by Theresa Burton, CEO of Buzzbnk. If this is something that would be of interest to your organisation, please contact . SCRT will evolve into a member-led organisation – open to all third sector orgs in Scotland. We hope as many SEN members as possible can sign to show their support – it’s FREE. To do so, see here

Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone (Hisez) celebrates its 10th birthday this year. Originally created from a partnership between Highlands and Island Enterprise; Social Firms Scotland and Scottish Govt, Hisez formally constituted in 2005 – as the Community Interest Company (CIC) in Scotland. Its remit remains the same today – to support and network existing and aspiring social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands. Over the years, Hisez has become increasingly independent of grant funding – relying more on securing work directly from communities, organisations or via public sector contracts. Congratulations to our ‘friends in the north’!


TENDERS: Therapeutic Counselling in Schools in East Lothian – East Lothian Council, Levengrove Park – West Dunbartonshire Council, CashBack for Communities: Delivery Partner – Scottish Government and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

FINANCE: SSE Scotland is running a course titled ‘Understanding YOUR Finances, Reducing the overwhelm’ on the 5th and 20th February. The hands on course will give a full understanding of why you need to have various reporting tools for you and your board and practical examples of how to create these reports.

WORKSHOPS: Just Enterprise has announced details of its new programme of business development workshops for winter/spring 2015.

FUNDING: Asda is supporting local communities across Scotland by donating the net proceeds from the Scottish Government’s 5p single use carrier bag charge. This UK-first partnership with Social Investment Scotland fills a gap in market to support innovative social enterprises.

LEARNING: This Spring the Social Enterprise Academy has learning programmes from Shetland to Arran to Inverurie. They offer a great chance to reflect on your challenges, how you might do things differently and invest in yourself.

WORKSHOP: Viridor Glasgow is hosting a free workshop on business insurance for social enterprise and SME staff. The ‘Take Cover – The Question is Which?’ workshop takes place on 10th February.

SHARES: Community Shares Scotland is holding a roadshow and training session on community shares in Aberdeen on the 24th and 25th February respectively. See website for full information.

Dates for the Diary
Dundee SEN, 28th January
Sport SEN North East, Aberdeen, 29th January
Glasgow SEN, 4th February
Sport SEN North, Inverness, 5th February
West Lothian SEN, 11th February
Inverclyde SEN, 17th February
Falkirk SEN, 17th February
Falkirk SEN, 17th March
Sport SEN National, 31st March
Glasgow SEN, 1st April
Falkirk SEN, 16th April 

Best wishes,