Senscot joined hundreds of social entrepreneurs and sector stakeholders at the SE Exchange, hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland, on Tuesday at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. The event kicked off with a speech from Jeane Freeman MSP, who spoke of a “shared mission between government and business with the goal of boosting productivity, competitiveness, employment, fair work and workforce engagement and development. Goals that so many of our social enterprises are already striving towards.”Senscot spoke to a few familiar faces to get a feel for what the Exchange means to Scotland’s SE community and what they hoped to get from the day. See short video comments from a range of social enterprises on our Twitter feed.
With the Scottish Government committed to producing a national strategy to tackle loneliness and isolation, we’re keen they engage with SEN members to learn about existing good practice and approaches to tackling the issue. 60% of SEs currently engage in activities that improve health and wellbeing through social or community activity and 39% of SEs have a particular interest in addressing isolation. If you would like to promote work you do in this area, please get in touch with Mary (Health & Social Enterprise Coordinator). Last week, Senscot attended Dundee SEN’s Profitable Partnership event, with Dovetail’s Ken Laing providing a highlight with an engaging presentation. Ken spoke about two key aspects of Dovetail’s approach to business development; increasing sales to the public sector through major capital projects and accessing the supply chains of private sector firms. Ken’s presentation conveyed a valuable message about knowing your market and using the procurement process to foster enhanced trading opportunities. Full presentations from the event can be downloaded, while an evaluation form for the event can also be submitted. Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) have launched a £12,000 crowdfunding appeal in order to finance a small fleet of mobile community cafés. The ‘Tuk In’ initiative in Aberdeen will provide soup, fruit pots and healthy lunches from the back of environmentally friendly tuk-tuks. Donors can contribute through their crowdfunder page. Meanwhile, Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) plan to raise £15,000 to fund a fully fitted kitchen space at their Social Enterprise and Inclusion Hub just outside Lanark. The venture would allow them to provide a platform for social inclusion through a food-based training scheme. Donations can be made through their fundraising page. Broomhouse Centre & Enterprises have now raised a total of £2.5m to be put towards a new community hub in South West Edinburgh. With £500,000 already in place, the Edinburgh SEN member has secured a further £1.2m from the Big Lottery Fund and £800,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grants Fund. Brigid MacGregor, the Acting Chairperson of Broomhouse Centre & Enterprises said: "We really see the Hub as the start of a new beginning in Broomhouse, it will be a place run by the community for the community.” For more information, see full press release. As part of the Scottish Government’s £2m Community Choices scheme, covered in last week’s bulletin, Marr Community Planning Group (MCPG) is now inviting expressions of interest for projects based in North Marr, Aberdeenshire. Up to £28,000 of funding is available, with applications exceeding this amount subject to matched funding. Completed Expressions of Interest forms should be submitted to Natasha by Monday 10th April 2017. See full project guidance form. Notices TENDERS: Dumfries & Galloway European Social Fund Stage 1&2 Provision – Dumfries and Galloway Council; Edinburgh’s Domestic Abuse Service Redesign – The City of Edinburgh Council; Print and Fulfilment Services – Link Group and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter. VACANCIES: The Department for Work and Pensions is now welcoming applications for Community Partner positions across a range of specialisms. Specialisms in learning disabilities and neurodiverse conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, drugs and alcohol dependency and pan-disability knowledge will be recruited for following consultations across Scotland, England and Wales to identify local need. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The UK Government’s Improving Lives: Work and Health Green Paper is launching a new element to offer an alternative route to employment for people living with disabilities. The Journey to Employment (J2E) programme will create several Job Clubs to deliver this employment support programme. To learn more click here. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Wednesday that an additional £2m will be made available to ensure children with additional support requirements will have improved access to nursery education. EVENT: ‘Aye Can Take The Weight Off’ promises to provide a fun and upbeat coaching programme to make participants more aware of their eating habits, through short quizzes and videos. The event takes place at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus on Friday March 21. See event details. SURVEY: Glasgow Caledonian University PhD student Jack Rendall has compiled a survey with the aim of gauging how Work Integration Social Enterprises, as well as the wider SE network, impact on people’s health and wellbeing. The survey hopes to provide an insight into the structure, employment procedures and business practices observed by both social enterprises and work integration social enterprises. Dates for the Diary East Lothian SEN, 31st MarchClackmannanshire SEN, 28th MarchMoray SEN, 13th AprilScottish Borders SEC, 27th April Best wishes, Kim