The SENs: Friday 4th September 2015

Wednesday’s CEIS SE Policy and Practice Conference saw the launch of the SE in Scotland: Census 2015. This is a very impressive piece of work – carried out by Social Value Lab – providing an insight, for the first time, into the size and scope of the social enterprise community in Scotland. The Census is stacked with statistics – some that will surprise people, some that won’t – and will provide a benchmark and reference point for social enterprises for the foreseeable future. Some headline figures include: over 5,000 SEs in Scotland; employ around 112,000 people; 200 new SEs being created every year; and trading income in the region of £1.15bn. Other interesting stats include: 60% of SEs are led by women; 22% are in Highlands & Islands; 36% do not describe themselves as SEs; biggest sectors are arts/culture and community amenities; and the sector’s average pay differential is at a ratio of 1:2.5. Overall the sector is dominated by small-to-medium sized organisations – 60% have a turnover less than £100k – while one third operate with a turnover less than £25k.

There are some great examples of social enterprise tackling health inequalities in Scotland – featured in the latest Health SEN Newsletter. It’s important we feed this in to the national conversation on Creating a Healthier Scotland  – launched by Health Secretary Shona Robison last month. The next Health SEN meeting (Tuesday 6th October, Glasgow) is an opportunity to focus on the role of social enterprise and identifying the key messages we want to contribute to the national conversation – What Matters to You? Social enterprises wishing to attend can contact Mary.

Brag, Fife Council and Senscot are supporting a Policy Event at Brag Enterprises on 10th September. The session will give Fife SEN members the opportunity to feedback on the 2015-2016 Social Enterprise Strategy and also to inform the 2016-2017 Strategy. The session will include the following topics – Procurement – how to be commercially focused; Asset transfer and Collaboration and Partnership forming.  For further information contact Pedro Santos.


Delighted to hear the Sport SEN member, Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex, has been able to double its paying visitors over the past two years after taking on a significant investment in its facilities. Robert Pollock, Chairman at Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex, said: “We are thrilled to see more and more people visiting the centre. Our aim has always been to make snow sports accessible to all and this healthy business growth is now enabling us to offer even more opportunities to those who need them most”. See press release.

Glasgow Caledonian University is looking for social enterprises in Glasgow who would be interested in offering a short project spec for its ‘Common Good Employability Competition’ for students. The competition, now in its fifth year, gives students the chance to work on a short project for a social enterprise and improve their employability skills in the process. Enterprises get a job done for free and access to a wide pool of talent and fresh ideas. The university provides the prize money. More information about the competition can be found here. You can also see the website which features last year’s projects.

Dundee SEN newsletter published this week.


TENDERS:  Provision of Specialist Business Advice, Support & Training 2015-2018 – Business Gateway Fife, Provision of Cycle Infrastructure Framework – Glasgow City Council, Sustainable Processing of Dry Mixed Recyclates – Perth and Kinross Council. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

VIDEO: A powerful new film made by refugee men in Glasgow with help from media co-op has called for an end to violence against women. The online video, entitled A Strong Man, was made by 67 men from 11 countries who are currently part of the Maryhill Integration Network. 

REPORT: This summer, Edinburgh hosted the inaugural Power of Food Festival ­ a packed weekend of events and family activities celebrating community food growing across the city. Fifteen community food gardens opened their gates to the public with an estimated 500 visitors enjoying the event. Full report available on the website.

WORKSHOPS: Two free workshops will be taking place on the 22nd Sept from Viridor Glasgow / GRREC. The workshops are titled ‘Project Management – Achieving Goals’ and ‘Transform Communication – Using the Power of NLP’.

FUNDING: The Fairer Scotland Engagement Fund has gathered pace since it was launched two weeks ago and grants have already been awarded by Voluntary Action Fund. However, the Fund is still open to applications!

VOTING: Instant Neighbour has been shortlisted for funds from M&S Energy for solar panels to be placed on its roof at St Machar Drive and would like your support!

FINANCE: If you are interested in learning more about social investment, or are preparing for a loan, then upcoming workshops by Social Investment Scotland are for you.

FUNDS: See latest EU Funds Update – including Local Authority Employability, Poverty and Social Inclusion list.

Dates for the Diary

West Lothian SEN, 8th Sept
Fife SEN, 23rd Sept
TSI Moray SEN Awards, 25th Sept
Perthshire SEN, 28th Sept
Cultural SEN, 30th Sept
Falkirk SEN, 2nd Oct
Health SEN, 6th Oct
Glasgow SEN, 7th Oct
Moray SEN, 8th Oct
Inverclyde SEN, 20th Oct

Best wishes,