The SENs: Friday 9th May 2017

With the support of Scottish Govt, Social Firms Scotland and Senscot have re-engaged with the EU SEN  and, this week, have been attending a Peer Review session in Prague on ‘How to involve municipalities in the social economy – what are the most effective models?’ The Peer Review focussed on three case studies: The Local Service Economy (Flanders); Social Co-operative Dolmen (Milan) and Municipal Social Enterprises (Slovakia) – with the aim of sharing good practice and exploring opportunities for transferring learning across the member states. The three cases studies in question present very different approaches in which co-operation between the SEs and public administrations can benefit citizens through creating employment and building social capital. The last iteration of EU SEN (2012-14) produced the following recommendations.

Valuable connections were made between Health SEN members at Wednesday morning’s meeting. New member The Piano Project CIC impressed longer-standing members with their ‘Pianos on Prescription’ initiative and in return they benefited from the knowledge & experience members had of health structures, business models and more. This was followed in the afternoon by a joint SEN discussion on Tackling Social Isolation & Loneliness. Members gathered for a lively conversation, resulting in a clear commitment to work together in addressing this issue – both through jointly increasing the suite of activities and support available and in understanding how different business models ensure sustainability. To find out more contact InspirAlba have organised a two-day event, What’s Next for Social Enterprise in Argyll and Bute, which will bring the region’s SEs together to discuss what support is required to help meet the needs of local communities. The focus of the event is to identify and prioritise the needs and aspirations of communities at a grassroots level. This will determine what resources, support and methods of collaboration can be used to build capacity, share skills and maximise impact across the region. The event takes place on the 19th and 20th June at Campbeltown Town Hall, with learning visits, presentations and Dragon’s Den pitches. InspirAlba aim to provide travel and accommodation bursaries where possible. To apply contact The Social Enterprise Census 2017 remains ongoing, with just over 1000 respondents so far. We reiterate that thorough and robust data is dependent on as wide a sample as possible. Demonstrating the impact social enterprises have on the wider economy helps drive government funding and support, while identifying the needs of the sector can shape policy.  SEs should grasp this opportunity, which only comes around only every two years, to get themselves on the Scottish Government’s radar. There is only two weeks left to respond – take the 15 minutes to have your voice heard. Scotland’s first social impact hub has been established in Inverness. Impact Hub Inverness will provide a flexible and dynamic working space for businesses and social entrepreneurs across the Highlands and Islands region. The hub was created by Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone (HISEZ) and is supported by the Scottish Government as part of the 10-year SE strategy. Modelled around similar ventures in Tokyo and London, the hub encourages local entrepreneurs to make a social impact with their business, creating a support network with a global reach of over 80 hubs and 15,000 members with a shared goal – creating stronger communities. The Scottish Government is holding a series of one-to-one consultation sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness this month to discuss the technical and eligibility details of potential applications to the Social Innovation Fund. Stage one (funding of £30,000 to £50,000) and stage two (funding of £100,000 to £150,000) both remain open for applications – the closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday 21st July. The sessions (Glasgow – 21st June; Edinburgh – 23rd June; Inverness – 26th June) will be run on a first come, first served basis. Email to organise. Notices TENDERS: Graduate Level Apprenticeships – SDS; Local Creative Networks Research Project – Creative Scotland; Mental Health Outreach Service – Aberdeen City Council IT Disposal Resale & Recycling – Argyll and Bute Council and more.  Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterEVENT: Glasgow Caledonian University are hosting a Making Global Goals Local Business event on 13th June. The conference will explore how Scottish businesses and SEs can work towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Book free tickets hereEVENT: Creative Dundee will explore the role of creativity and design in social enterprises at their Make/Share meets Boosy by Design event on 14th June at the Beer Kitchen in Dundee. Tickets are free but must be booked onlineFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Applications for the 2017/18 Community Learning Exchange, run by the Scottish Community Alliance, are now open. Find out more and apply to organise or join an exchangeFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Marr Area Partnership’s Initiative Grant Scheme is open for applications to support community development – next deadline June 15th. Awards up to 50% of a project’s total cost available, up to a maximum of £1000. See application and guidance formFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Help the Homeless are offering grants of up to £5000 for small and medium-sized charities with an annual turnover under £1m. Find out more and applyFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The FCC Scottish Action Fund is offering funding of between £2000 and £50,000 for environmental projects. Find out more and applyCONSULTATION: The Scottish Government’s consultation on engaging communities in local land-related decisions closes next Friday. You can respond to the consultation here if you have not already done so. REPORT: ALLIANCE have recently release a report, Personal Experiences of Self-Directed Support, which considers the experiences of people becoming aware of SDS, going through the assessment process and managing SDS in their day to day lives.   Dates for the Diary Glasgow SEN, 15th June
Perth & Kinross SEN, 20th June
Dundee SEN AGM, 22nd June  Best wishes,