The SENs: Friday 4th November 2016

The North Ayrshire Social Enterprise Strategy was launched at an event in Irvine yesterday. The three-year strategy (2016-2019) has been developed by North Ayrshire Council (NAC), TSI North Ayrshire and other partners, setting out a strong vision for the future contribution of social enterprise in North Ayrshire and includes four key priority areas: Developing a high profile sector; Growing market share; Improving sustainability; and Demonstrating impact. The North Ayrshire SE Strategy adds to existing SE Strategies in Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife and Moray. Senscot looks forward to working with NAC and TSI North Ayrshire in the successful implementation of the strategy. I attended the ‘Focus on Social Enterprise Events’ that took place this week in Argyll & Bute that highlighted the breadth of social enterprise activity that takes place in the region. Amongst other activities there was a film festival, workshops and an informal learning exchange. The event wound up with a Dragons’ Den with 8 cracking pitches and awards being made of more than £10k. Well done to all involved. Our Thematic Co-ordinators led the Joint Thematic Learning Exchange in Elgin yesterday in partnership with local TSI’s and SENs. This was the second in a series of joint thematic sessions to be held across Scotland. The event was well attended with a positive vibe throughout the day with lots of connections made. A wide range of discussions across a number of areas including food poverty; sport; tourism; employability; asset transfer and procurement. More to follow next week.

On Tuesday this week a number of members of the Employability SEN attended a Learning Exchange Visit to the Fife Employability Consortium – an excellent example of organisations working successfully together to deliver employability services in Fife. This session was timely as other areas are now actively exploring the consortium model. Here’s a link to the presentations for more information contact George.

SSE has launched the Sustainable Development Fund in South Lanarkshire with £600,000 available to local non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities. The funding supports strategic projects in the regions where SSE is operating with focus on Creating Opportunities, Empowering Communities and Sustainable Places. Applications from £10,000 up to a maximum of the fund’s total value will be accepted. Deadline for application’s 1st Feb 2017. See more. The WHALE-Pod is a business incubator unit for new start creative businesses. In Oct the Pod entered into a new 6-month phase of its development with a view to increasing its use and long term sustainability. For a fee of £10 a month the WHALE-Pod space will be open to use by several of those start-up businesses who have been developing their business ideas. The space is available to use for anyone interested in arts, creativity and the idea of earning an income. See more.
 Congratulations to Remade in Edinburgh’s Sophie Unwin who has won UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 and the prize of £10,000. social enterprise which teaches computer, textile and furniture repair skills from the Edinburgh Remakery and runs repair and upcycling workshops and campaigns for zero waste throughout the city, see more.
 Notices TENDERS: Landscaping Works – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Community Development Finance Institution – Fife Council, Provision of Supported Accommodation and Tenancy Support Services – Falkirk Services, National Third Sector Funding Highlands & Islands only – Competitive Funding Offer and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter. Also, see latest newsletterSURVEY: Ready for Business is seeking your input into a survey on behalf of the Scottish Government Supported Business Advisory Group. It is compiling a register of Supported Businesses to inform public sector commissioning and procurement staff of the increased opportunities of the recently revised, much broader, EU definition of Supported Businesses. NEWSLETTERS: This week the Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber C.I.C. and Edinburgh SEN published updates for members. FIRSTPORT: Only one month left to apply for the LaunchMe programme! This provides £25k seed funding with up to £100k matching any future investment, investment readiness and business support, connections to social investors and access to industry mentors and opportunities for peer to peer support and learning. WORKSHOP: There is a free capacity building workshop for Glasgow based social enterprises or SMEs on the 15th Nov. The ‘How to compete like a Big Brand without a Big Brand budget’ workshop will help small businesses and social enterprises take their brand and marketing to the next level, enabling your organisation to achieve its objectives more quickly and more profitably. OPENING: CFINE Invite you to the official opening of its premises including Cook at the ‘Nook community training kitchen by the Minister for Housing, Kevin Smith MSP. Takes place on the 18th Nov. Dates for the Diary
Dundee SEN, 19th NovBorders SEN, 17th NovPerth & Kinross SEN, 22nd NovFalkirk SEN, 2nd DecFife SEN, 7th DecMoray SEN, 8th DecGlasgow SEN, 14th Dec Best wishes,