The SENs: Friday 23rd September 2016

Senscot in partnership with Social Firms Scotland, Local SENs & TSI’s (Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highlands) and Highlands and Island Enterprise are organising a Learning Exchange Visit for social enterprises across the North East. The visit will take place on Thursday 3rd November Senscot, and is being hosted by Elgin Youth Café, there will be an opportunity to choose from a wide range of sessions relevant to social enterprises including – business sustainability; asset transfer; partnership working; employability, tourism; food poverty and much more. The visit is open to social enterprise operating across the area – for more information and sign up details see here.

We’ve updated our website recently with a list of useful resources related to our Partnership and Procurement support.  Over the coming months we’ll add a series of case studies showcasing examples of collaborative working and successful tendering.  If you have a particular area you would like us to focus on or if you want to share your experience and have us profile your organisation then please contact George.  Please remember that one-to-one support is available, if you have an opportunity to work collaboratively or need assistance with tendering then get in touch!

SCVO has announced a new round of the Community Capacity & Resilience Fund. Open to organisations with a turnover less than 200k, the fund aims to increase the capacity and resilience of communities and third sector organisations to provide people with the support and skills they need. Awards range from £1,000 to £5,000. The application process is simple, with a quick decision and, for successful projects, the money paid up front. See more.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust recognises that a high number of organisations continue to be reliant on grant funding. A lack of skills in key areas means that organisations don’t have the confidence or skills to be fully sustainable. With this in mind Community Enterprise, in partnership with MVA, are running The Coalfields Regeneration School to address those skills gaps. Its aim is to develop enterprising communities and local organisations working towards long term sustainability as a way of maintaining vibrancy in their community. See more.

Many happy returns to the Glasgow Women’s Library on turning 25 this week. It reflects on the milestone in a specially curated exhibition. This piece in the Guardian that highlights the ground-breaking contemporary collection that has been built up and the organisation that has become part of the community. The occasion has also been widely covered on social media and in the Evening Times. The Glasgow SEN member also received a special video message from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said that the library “do a fantastic job in celebrating the achievements of women through the ages".

As many readers can attest creating a social enterprise can be a daunting prospect. The Melting Pot’s (TMP) ‘Good Ideas Academy’ (formerly known as the Social Innovation Incubator Award) has been inspiring and supporting new and emerging ventures since 2011, helping people refine and shape their ideas for positive social change and turn them into a thriving reality. TMP is recruiting for the free upcoming Academy, apply before 16th October. See more.

Fife SEN had a great turnout at its AGM this week and a new board have been elected with Brian Robertson-Fearn (Brag Enterprise) taking up the role of Chair.   Over the course of the year the members have been working with St Andrews University students, through Enactus and Playfair, to develop an online presence.  The new Fife SEN website will be officially launched at Fife Business Week in November. For more information about Fife SEN contact Sarah.


TENDERS: Expression of Interest form for the Wise Group bid for Work Able Scotland, Provision of Fundraising Services for Fife Gingerbread, Learning & Skills Service (Prisoners) – Scottish Prison Service, Complex Needs Employability – The City of Edinburgh Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

FINANCE: With continued funding from the Scottish Asda carrier bag levies, Social Investment Scotland has announced an increase in the availability of smaller affordable loans (£10 – 50k) to even more social enterprises. Limited funds are available; enterprises are encouraged to get in touch ASAP but no later than 14th October.

DIGITAL: The Federation of Small Business and Google have partnered to provide businesses in Glasgow with a FREE ‘Digital Garage’. This will be based at the Mitchell Library till January 2017, where Google’s four experts will provide one-to-one mentoring support six days a week, and a trainer to deliver digital masterclasses on a recurring basis.

SUPPORT: The Just Enterprise Programme continues to offer 1-2-1 Start Up and Business Development support and a series of workshops to social enterprise throughout Scotland. If you would like to learn more for yourself and your team or would like someone from the programme to come along and talk at your event or network meeting, please contact Sally Gallery on 0141 425 2909.

TRAINING: Following from the successful TrACK (Train with Along Came Kirsty) on funding Along Came Kirsty would like to give you a chance to give your organisation the financial boost it needs! This training and has enabled organisations to access over £40k of funding from local charitable trusts.

REMINDER: As part of our ongoing work with the SENs (both local and thematic) Senscot and Social Firms Scotland are carrying out a short survey of members to get a better understanding of who is involved in delivering formal programmes through the Scottish Qualification system and what the barriers are to involvement.  For more info’, contact Sarah.

VACANCY: Assist Social Capital is looking to recruit an OASIIS Project Coordinator to support its current work on introducing social enterprise within the UNESCO MAB World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Dates for the Diary

Perth & Kinross SEN, 27th Sep
Falkirk SEN, 5th Oct
East Lothian SEN, 6th Oct
Borders SEN, 6th Oct
Moray SEN, 13th Oct
Inverclyde SEN, 25th Oct
Perth & Kinross SEN, 25th Oct
Borders SEN, 17th Nov
Perth & Kinross SEN, 22th Nov
Falkirk SEN, 2nd Dec

Best wishes,