The SENs: Friday 9th September 2016

This week’s CEIS Conference saw the formal launch of Scotland’s International SE Strategy. Over 200 folk gathered at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow – including strong delegations from Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand and other parts of the UK, to hear Cabinet Secretary, Angela Constance, formally launch the International SE Strategy – Internationalising Social Enterprise – as well as reflect on the forthcoming SE Strategy for Scotland. The Cabinet Secretary reiterated the Govt’s support for social enterprise and the key contribution it makes in communities across the country. The SE Strategy for Scotland is expected to be published during the autumn. See full programme and delegates’ list. 

The Sustainable Procurement Duty outlined in the Procurement Reform Act requires public sector organisations to think how they can improve the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the area in which they operate – with a particular focus on reducing inequality.  In terms of the impact of this on social enterprises, the change in legislation relating to Supported Businesses could be of particular importance.  Under the new rules, a contracting authority will be able to reserve contracts to supported businesses or supported employment programmes whose main aim is the social and professional integration of disabled or disadvantaged persons, and where at least 30 per cent of the employees are disabled or disadvantaged persons. If you are currently delivering or interested in bidding for contracts with the public sector, then it would be a good time to review your profile on the Ready for Business register?  Is it up to date, with the relevant contact details and organisation profile?  Can you demonstrate experience of delivering contracts or working with the public sector?  Is your organisation now classed as a supported business?  Have you added your profile to Public Contracts Scotland?  Both the public AND private sector want to work with social enterprises who can help them to deliver quality products and/or services in addition to wide-ranging community benefits – are you Ready for Business? As part of our ongoing work with the SENs (both local and thematic), and following on from the recent Apprenticeship Levy Consultation response submitted by Social Firms Scotland. Senscot and Social Firms Scotland are carrying out a short survey of members to get a better understanding of who is involved in delivering formal programmes through the Scottish Qualification system and what the barriers are to involvement.  For more info’, contact Sarah. Awards from the Fair Food Transformation Fund were announced by the Scottish Government this week. Community Food and Health SEN members, Cyrenians, Community Renewal and Nourish are amongst the successful applications. Together with 18 others, they will be developing initiatives that are seeking to reduce reliance on emergency food aid, by establishing more sustainable approaches to ensuring families can access healthy and nutritious food.  If you are interested in sharing the work of your organisation in this area, or would like to explore working with others to address food poverty, please get in touch with our Health / Community’s Food SEN Coordinator, Mary. Sad news reaches us from the Engine Shed in Edinburgh, it is to close down at the end of the month. Following the closure of operations in St Leonard’s Lane in Mar 15 steps were taken to set up a café to relaunch the organisation, but despite best efforts of all involved a suitable location was not secured resulting in this decision. See more. Notices TENDERS: Recycling and Waste Uplift Contract – Scottish Canals, Quality Fabric Supplier, Provision of information and support for the Global Business Services sector in Scotland, Play schemes for Disabled Children and Young People – The City of Edinburgh Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterLAUNCHME: Firstport is looking for ambitious, early stage social enterprises that want to scale and take on social investment, to take part in LaunchMe. This will provide participants with seed funding, intensive business support, investment readiness support, investment brokerage and mentoring. JUST ENTERPRISE: Firstport, as part of the Just Enterprise contract, is running a introduction to social enterprise workshop in Alloa on 26th Oct.  AWARDS: The deadline for nominations for the Our Health Heroes Awards 2016 is fast approaching (midnight 23rd Sep). WORKSHOPS: There are two free workshops coming up from the Glasgow Recycling and Renewal Energy Centre. The Business Insurance for Small Business and Selling in a Tough Climate workshops take place on the 13th and 22nd Sep respectively. LEARNING: Third Sector Health & Social Care Support Team is holding a ‘Learning Set’, 13th Oct, Stirling. This event will provide participants with the opportunity to undertake 5 bite sized training sessions over the course of the day. LECTURE: Pauline Graham (CEO of Social Firms Scotland) will deliver this year’s John Pearce Memorial Lecture. Pauline will share perspectives on the SE Community in Scotland; its roots in community action; and our inherent enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. Dates for the Diary Fife SEN & AGM, 21st SepPerth & Kinross SEN, 27th SepFalkirk SEN, 5th OctEast Lothian SEN, 6th OctBorders SEN, 6th OctMoray SEN, 13th OctInverclyde SEN, 25th OctPerth & Kinross SEN, 25th OctBorders SEN, 17th Nov Best wishes, Kim