The SENs: Friday 9th October 2015

An issue that may have increasing relevance for SENs and their members over the years ahead will be Participatory Budgeting (PB) – a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local requirements. Whilst not actually included in the Community Empowerment Act, Scottish Govt has not ignored this matter and has invested in a national training programme for local authorities that, last week, saw the launch of a new web portal. The new portal will act as a hub for sharing and learning about work being done by PB initiatives across Scotland – overseen by a small working group that includes our colleagues at the Scottish Community Alliance. It’s worth a look. Bookings for this year’s SE Conference and Ceilidh have hit the 100 mark – with space for another 30/40. The programme is just about finalised and we are now inviting applications for this year’s Dragons’ Den. Closing date for application is Friday 23rd October. As always, £5k prize money will be available to the winner. There will also be crowdfunding for our audience prize. The event is again at the Westerwood Hotel, near Cumbernauld, on 12th/13th November. To book your place, see bookings. Diane (SE & Sport Coordinator) attended a seminar last week which looked at a proposal to create an ‘Observatory for Sport’ in Scotland. Based on similar models in Denmark and the Netherlands, the event sought to gauge opinion re the creation of an independent body to collate research data and evidence on sport in all its guises – including the impact when used as a tool for change.  The idea is the brainchild of Charlie Raeburn, a lifelong supporter of the “power of sport” – read his blog here. Sarah attended the Arts and Business Scotland ‘Chair Matters’ session on SE this week.  The event focussed on some of the support available to the sector – with contributions from Neil McLean (SE Academy); Alastair Davis (SIS); and Adele Patrick (Glasgow Women’s Library).  With only a handful of social enterprises in the room, it was interesting to learn how many others are investigating social enterprise as the future model for their creative and cultural organisations. A good number of SEN members are also members of SCRT – which was set up to begin trying to pool the resources of SEs and the wider third sector in Scotland. Launched last December, SCRT is now hosting its first Conference – at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh on 19th Nov. The topic – Social Finance: Social Investment: Social Banking – what makes them Social? The day will include contributions from across the UK as well as further afield. Discounts are available. See Conference and booking details. If you are considering setting up a social enterprise – and are wondering what legal structure to adopt – this article takes you through the different options – their various advantages. It was put together by an English outfit (Inspire2Enterprise) but Helen from Senscot Legal has had a look and comments: “It’s good to see a clear and concise guide on the pros and cons of various legal structures available to SEs. Of course, obtaining more in depth information and advice is recommended before choosing the best legal structure and in Scotland we also have the increasingly popular SCIO model for charities”. If you’d like support in setting up your own social enterprise, contact info@se-legal.netNotices TENDERS: Supporting Individuals and Families Affected by Substance Misuse in South Lanarkshire, Glasgow City Stress Services (NHSGGC) – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rowan Grove Landscape Improvements – Almond Housing Association and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter. HEALTH SEN: There are tenders for the Scottish Storytelling Café and The Fruitmarket Gallery Café that may be of interest to Community Food SEN members on the Creative Scotland website.  WORKSHOPS: Just Enterprise has organised two FREE workshops for staff / members of third sector organisations. The ‘Introduction to Tendering’ and ‘Demystifying the Web’ workshops take place on the 18th and 23rd of November respectively. HUB: Community Enterprise in partnership with other groups in West Lothian has been developing the idea of establishing an Innovation and Enterprise hub. The objectives are to encourage the growth and sustainability of the third sector in West Lothian. An open meeting is taking place on 20th October. FESTIVAL: Dundee Social Enterprise Network (DSEN) was delighted to be asked to be involved in the recent Commons Festival. DSEN hosted a workshop that explored how growing and food production can play such an important part in the promoting health and well-being. FOOD: Breadshare Products are now available from The Leith Food Assembly, an innovative way to buy locally produced food. TWITTER: The Senscot Twitter account is rapidly approaching the 5,000 mark. Follow us there for the latest about the SENs and members. Let us know if you want anything publicised. Dates for the Diary Inverclyde SEN, 20th OctPerthshire SEN, 26th OctDundee SEN, 4th NovPerthshire SEN, 30th NovFalkirk SEN, 1st DecGlasgow SEN, 4th Dec Best wishes, Kim