The SENs: Friday 28th March 2014

This week, SEN Chairs met in Glasgow – to reflect on the last year’s activity, the progress made and the challenges still face as they look forward to the year ahead. Key topics for discussion included the need to continue building relationships at a local level with Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) and to maintain close working relationships with the providers of Scottish Govt’s main support contracts – Just Enterprise and Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers – as the new contracts commence. The Chairs also discussed the recent SE Mapping Report by EKOS (see below) as well as being updated on progress with the Scottish Community Banking Trust.

Last year, the BIG Lottery commissioned EKOS to do a mapping of the SE community in Scotland. Whilst not exhaustive and operating within a limited budget, the Report gives an insight into where they are; what sector they operate in; staffing/volunteer number; turnover and assets – and is the most up-to-date figures that we have. Some headline figures include: over 3,500 SEs; 57% generating more than 50% of income through trading; over 120,000 staff; and a joint turnover (2012/13) of almost £7bn. See report in full. Congratulations to Cultural and Edinburgh SEN member, Edinburgh Markets, for bringing a new venture to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station which will see a market under its famous glass canopy for the first time in over 40 years – with local social enterprises and passengers set to become the primary beneficiaries. The new venture, run by LocalMotive Markets, will operate on a trial basis every Friday from 2nd May for three months. The market, which will operate from 11am to 7pm, will include a range of arts and crafts and food stalls. See press release Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) has launched a survey – with SEs across Scotland are being urged to fill in the new short policy-related survey. The survey is open to any social enterprise based in Scotland. Please pass the details on to colleagues and through your SEN o other local networks. The aim is to gather views and experiences from across the country in order to campaign on the issues that matter to all social enterprises and get action taken on policy. The survey is kindly supported by Resilient Scotland, Social Investment Scotland, The Link Group Ltd and The Wise Group. Also read the media release. This week in Edinburgh, Firstport, launched a new initiative, LaunchMe. LaunchMe is Scotland’s first social enterprise accelerator programme. Over the next 3 years, Firstport will work with 15 early stage SEs to help them scale up their enterprises and increase their social impact. The first round for applications opened this week (25th March) and closes on 2nd June. See details. The Social Enterprise Academy delivers learning and development programmes for people working in, or linked to, social enterprise. They are considering applying for Accrediting Body Status through the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). This means they could then provide a specialist accreditation service to third sector organisations to accredit any training course or education programme they have developed themselves. They would greatly value your views on this key question for the third sector by completing a short survey. Would you want the training that your organisation delivers to be recognised on a National Framework? See, Survey  Notices TENDERS: Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter. EXHIBITION: The Gallery on the Corner’s countdown to World Autism Awareness Day has started, to celebrate, on 2nd April the latest exhibition by Gallery Trainees opens. Surroundings is a multi-disciplined collection of fine art works produced by the gallery team that explores both urban and natural environments. EVENT TODAY: Fife Diet will be coming over the bridge to Edinburgh on Friday 28th March with the Seed Kist, their collection of open pollinated and heritage variety seeds. DINNER: Social Enterprise Scotland is working in partnership with Scottish Council for Development and Industry to deliver the inaugural Social Enterprise Exchange Leadership Dinner on Tuesday 24 June in Glasgow. JOB: BOLD Marketing is looking to recruit an enthusiastic and creative individual to assist the current graphic design team in producing creative and artwork for use in branding projects and websites on behalf of our clients. Deadline 21 April. EVENT: In its fourth year, BRAG Enterprises Ltd, as one of Fife’s longest established social enterprises, is delighted to offer attendees and exhibitors another chance to attend “Opportunities to Grow” a dynamic, busy and productive environment. COURSE: The Canny Families Project involves a programme of affordable cooking courses across Edinburgh, with each course run over a six week period. With a focus on a different topic each week participants will not only learn practical cooking skills and how to make affordable and healthy family meals but will also improve their knowledge of nutrition and learn how to reduce food waste.  Dates for the DiaryGlasgow SEN, 2nd April
Moray SEN, 2nd AprilFife SEN, 8th AprilStirlingshire SEN, 23rd AprilSport SEN North, 1st MayFife SE Trade Fair, 7th MaySport SEN West, 15th May Best wishes,