Growing a strong, inclusive voice for social enterprise

Posted: 01 November 2022, in News

Relevant links

Transition Group Q&A

SES Business Plan 2022-2024

An open letter to the social enterprise community in Scotland


Update – 1 November

In July, we commissioned Transition Group (TG) to ensure a seamless process as we took on the mantle of the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) for social enterprises in Scotland.  Chaired by Professor Ian Welsh OBE, the TG ensures that all our future activities reflect the needs of the sector and gives everyone a say in how we develop and take forward our responsibility as a single strong voice for social enterprise in Scotland.

The Transition Group held their final meeting on the 24th October and yesterday sent their final report, findings and recommendations to the Social Enterprise Scotland Board.  Please find letter from the Chair here, the Final Report and response from Shona Sinclair, SES Chair. 

The report was developed in partnership with the sector through five external engagement events and a final survey. We look forward to the SES Board considering the recommendations and to share these with our members in full.

The report will be shared with members, please look out for a member only session to discuss the findings in full, further details will be out toward the end of the week.  Social Enterprise Scotland would like to thank members of the Transition Group for their ideas, dedication and commitment throughout the process.

This week, we also began the process to recruit a new Chair of Social Enterprise Scotland board of directors.

The Chair will help the organisation represent its diverse membership and act as the representative body of social enterprises in Scotland. They will be a voice of governance and leadership for the sector and oversee the direction and strategy of Social Enterprise Scotland’s board of directors.  They will contribute to social change and influence stakeholders, and work with Social Enterprise Scotland Executive Team to further strengthen the organisation.

We thank Shona Sinclair for her much-valued work as Chair.

The cost-of-living crisis is something that is affecting everyone across the country.  We want to understand the impact of rising costs on social enterprises and the communities they support.  Social Enterprise Scotland plays a key role in the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Social Enterprise and used the last meeting to discuss the cost-of-living.

We heard from around thirty social enterprises, who shared their experiences of the cost-of-living crisis and shared ideas about solutions needed to strengthen the sector in these difficult times.  It follows a survey of our members, and a roundtable discussion event.   Your views help us in our role as a strong voice for the sector, so please do get in touch if there is something you would like to tell us. You can speak to our Policy Officer, Georgie Price (georgie.price@socialenterprise.scot).

Finally, tonight (November 1) sees us celebrate the best and brightest of the social enterprise sector in Scotland at the Social Enterprise Awards.  We have many incredible finalists, who all demonstrate the crucial difference that social enterprises make, as well as the creativity and entrepreneurship at the heart of the community. The judges have a very tough job ahead of them.

We look forward to celebrating the contribution made by social enterprise in Scotland and will bring you a full report on the night next week.

Update – 25 October

If you have been following proceedings since Social Enterprise Scotland took up the mantle of the Single Enhanced Intermediary in July you will know we are eagerly anticipating the final report of the Transition Group (TG) and sight of the recommendations, which have been further informed and refined through the five external engagement events and a final survey.  Our Chief Executive, Chris Martin, is delighted to announce that the TG are in the process of signing off on the final report which will be sent by the TG Chair, Professor Ian Welsh OBE today, to the Social Enterprise Scotland Chair, Shona Sinclair for the SES Board to have sight of.  The Report will be shared transparently, and SES members will have a chance to comment on the recommendations.  Indeed, if there are any material changes required to the SES constitution, SES will be required to seek agreement by way of an EGM and member vote.  Social Enterprise Scotland would like to take this opportunity to thank the Transition Group members, especially Ian for his leadership through the process.  Thank you to everyone who gave up their time, on a voluntary basis, to help inform this piece of work and set the groundwork for Social Enterprise Scotland to be able to serve the social enterprise sector in Scotland.

This week also saw the launch of the #BuySocialScotland initiative, which calls on individuals and organisations to use their purchasing power to make a difference by choosing goods and services from social enterprises.

It aims to showcase ethical gift options from social enterprises around the country to make it easier for people to find festive presents that give back to local communities.

Social Enterprise Scotland has created a gift directory, available at buysocialscotland.com, which brings together hundreds of products, experiences, and vouchers from Scottish social enterprises.

Finally, we are looking forward to hosting a meeting in the Scottish Parliament next week to discuss the cost of living. It is an opportunity for social enterprises to share their experiences about how rising costs are impacting them, and to explain more about what is happening at the grassroots. We’ll keep you updated here.

Update – 18 October

We are delighted to welcome Hannah Dent to Social Enterprise Scotland this week as she takes up a new role as our Director of Services.

Hannah joins us from Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), where she advised and supported businesses on a wide range of issues such strategy, marketing, and purpose.

In her role, Hannah will have a specific focus on identifying and developing opportunities for growth through building relationships with the commercial and corporate business sector.

She will also help to lead the organisation through its current period of transition and provide operational leadership for all service provision.

Hannah previously led and delivered an internal business improvement project for CEIS which looked at how the organisation’s impact was reported, monitored, and communicated, as well as the everyday business processes that ensure teams operate as efficiently and successfully as possible.

She was also the programme lead for the International Social Enterprise Observatory, advising and supporting social enterprises looking to develop internationally.

Hannah said: “I’m delighted to be joining Social Enterprise Scotland as part of the leadership team at both an exciting and critical time in the organisation’s development as the Single Enhanced Intermediary.

“I look forward to joining the recently expanded and passionate team as we work together to champion the growing social enterprise sector and build further connections and collaborations with our supporters.”

Hannah previously worked in a number of strategic and leadership roles in the private sector, including PwC and AG Barr, but was keen to move into social enterprise to find better alignment between her work, skills, and values.

As you will be aware, a Transition Group was appointed to oversee Social Enterprise Scotland’s evolution as it delivers the Single Enhanced Intermediary for social enterprises in Scotland.

The group has been meeting regularly, and there is now an opportunity for you to have your say on its draft recommendations before they are finalised.

The Social Enterprise Scotland Transition Group Draft Recommendations Survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WS3LMP7.

We want to gain a wider understanding of how people feel about the draft recommendations, and what we should consider.

It is also an important mechanism for members who have been unable to make it to regional events have their say.

The Transition Group was established to ensure a seamless process as Social Enterprise Scotland grows as a strong, inclusive voice for the entire sector.

The final recommendations of the Transition Group will be sent to the Social Enterprise Scotland Board for consideration, before being published in full.

Update – 13 October

Over the past couple of weeks, the Transition Group (TG) has run a series of regional engagement events to allow people to hear about and share their views on their emerging recommendations. Social enterprises and stakeholders joined the discussion from across the country with their ideas, views and input.

The feedback from these regional online engagement events was shared at the TG meeting on the 10th of October with the TG group subsequently agreeing a set of draft recommendations for the SES board.  The draft recommendations were today shared in a final consultation event.  

The TG are aware that not everyone was able to make the events. To ensure everyone who wants to, can feed into this process, a short survey outlining the draft recommendations has been launched. This will be open until midnight on Thursday 20 October.

Please take 5 minutes to complete this short survey and let us know your thoughts.

The survey findings along with the input from the final consultation will be fed into the final Transition Group meeting on 24th October. If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone from the Transition Group about this process please email the TG directly.


Update – 11 October

This week, Social Enterprise Scotland were at the SNP’s annual conference in Aberdeen.

It was a great opportunity for us to take your message to politicians and grassroots members and champion the contribution that social enterprises make to our society and economy.  Our highlight was hosting a fringe discussion with the Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Tom Arthur.  Mr Arthur was joined by two fantastic social enterprises based in Aberdeen, Coalfields Regeneration and Third Level Foundation.  We were delighted to take the opportunity to explain to the Minister and the audience how social enterprises, in all their diversity, are putting fairness into the heart of the economy recovery and offering a real alternative to an economic system that benefits the rich.

This week, we are also hosting another of our Community Conversations events.  This programme of activity was set up to take Social Enterprise Scotland to every corner of the country and listen to the needs of social enterprises, so we can represent and advocate for them, and be a strong voice for social enterprises.  We will be in West Lothian and would be delighted for as many social enterprises as possible to come along and tell us what you need from Social Enterprise Scotland and the issues you are facing.  This follows on from a successful event in in South Ayrshire last week where the group shared local intelligence to both the SES Board and the Transition Group.

The Transition Group had their penultimate meeting on Monday of this week to refine and finesse their recommendations to the Social Enterprise Scotland Board.  These recommendations will be shared at the final Engagement Event on Thursday, 13th at 10am.  To book this online event please click here.  A number of the recommendations will encourage the SES Board to continue to exemplify good governance and reflect the diversity of the sector.  This will be timely as we plan our succession of the Chair position as Shona Sinclair moves on having guided the Board through this period of transition.  We will also be seeking to enhance our Board with additional Directors from our membership so keep your eye out for more information.

Update – 4 October

Involving our membership and ensuring the rich and diverse social enterprise community has a say on how we deliver the right intermediary support is crucial to our plans for the future. Our Transition Group met again at the end of September, and we are now holding engagement events to discuss and take forward the discussions held at the Transition Group meetings. We are keen for social enterprises in every corner of Scotland to get involved.

We would like to thank everyone for their participation, rich and stimulating discussion and breadth of views expressed so far. Taking part in these events has been an engaging and positive experience.

Our final event will take place on October 13. The final recommendations of the Transition Group will be sent to the SES Board for consideration, before being published in full.

We are also delighted to announce a new partnership for social enterprises working in Scotland’s creative and cultural sector to help them grow and reach new people. The collaboration between Social Enterprise Scotland and the Creative Entrepreneurs Club will create a new global platform for social enterprises to access global networking, peer support and a programme of content to support what they do. It was created to address a skills gap in the sector, which we identified in partnership with our members.

The collaboration was announced during the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2022, which is being hosted in Brisbane, Australia.

Update – 20 September

The Transition Group is to meet again later this week in Glasgow for its 4th meeting.  The Group are beginning to consolidate its thinking following some constructive debate and dialogue, stimulated by a range of papers designed to help them shape some conclusions.  At this meeting, it will be looking at the work to date as a whole so that early agreement can be reached on what it wants to recommend to the Social Enterprise Scotland Board.  The emerging themes on membership relate to how to protect the social enterprise “brand” by protecting the idea of social profit as distinct from private profit.  The discussion will be informed by the key drivers that mean social enterprises will continue to evolve, not just in their typology but in the way they are financed and how this will inform the membership structure being recommended.  On governance, a key theme being developed is around how to ensure sufficient representation from across the sector whilst being clear that SES Board members must serve the interests of the organisation over individual interests. 

The TG is consolidating its thinking also on the functions of the SEI and are in broad agreement that it should be a complementary role, well aligned to the sometimes complex local and national eco-system that supports social enterprises.  This is leading to some conclusions that will provide some ideas to the SES Board on how it might build on its current strategy and business plan.   Furthermore, the Transition Group will hold a series of online regional events to engage more directly with the sector on the discussions and conclusions so far.  

We would like as many people as possible from every corner of the social enterprise sector in Scotland to take part to shape the recommendations of the group.

These will take place on:

To register, please click on the session you are interested in attending. Each session will run from 10 am.


Update – 6 September

As you will be aware, the Transition Group (TG) has been meeting regularly as we evolve into our new role as a single representative body for the social enterprise sector in Scotland.

The TG was established to ensure a seamless process as Social Enterprise Scotland grows a strong, inclusive voice for the entire sector, and delivers it in partnership with the entire sector.

The role of the TG is to ensure that future policies and activities reflect the needs of the wider sector. The group has a strong breadth of representation from across the movement and all parts of Scotland and it’s membership fully reflects grassroots social enterprises, stakeholders, the Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) and other knowledgeable experts.

We have reported back on the shape and nature of the discussions so far in these updates, and they have given us a strong insight into what our priorities should be and how we should work to deliver for our members and the sector as a whole.  These will include membership and governance, as well as the potential functions and services.  The group has a six-month remit to report back to the SES board with recommendations.  It is the role of the SES board to consider all TG recommendations, in accordance with our existing governing documents and membership.  The recommendations will be shared transparently with the full membership for consideration.  The Transition Group will hold a series of online regional events to engage more directly with the sector on the discussions and conclusions so far.  We would like as many people as possible from every corner of the social enterprise sector in Scotland to take part to shape the recommendations of the group.

These will take place on:

  • September 26 for the north of Scotland
  • September 30 for the south of Scotland
  • October 3 for the east of Scotland
  • October 6 for the west of Scotland

Each session will run from 10am to 12 noon.

To register, please keep an eye on the Transition Group page on the SES website.

We will also be running a survey to gain a wider understanding of how people feel about the draft recommendations, and what else we should consider. It is also an important mechanism for members who can’t make it to the regional events to have their say.  These will be followed by a nationwide event in late October as part of formal consultation on the transition group’s draft recommendations.  Registration will open soon and we will bring you details on how you can get involved with this important event.

Remember, you can always get in touch with the Transition Group through the dedicated email address.


Update – 30 August

We had an interesting discussion at the Transition Group around the language of the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI).  Yes, it is important to recognise that Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) have secured a grant to deliver the SEI. There are two things that came up.  Firstly, the term single enhanced intermediary is a label inherited by the Scottish Government led process and secondly,  there are many organisations in the ecosystem currently supporting social enterprise activity so the term “single” is therefore misplaced in this context.  SES intend to act as a gateway for everyone in the sector, signposting to services and support, providing a network for like-minded individuals to connect and share best practice and championing in areas where there are genuine gaps in services, recognising that these don’t have to be delivered by us.  The Transition Group was thoughtful about the essential “incubator” role of intermediaries and is certain to feature in its recommendations.

Our Community Conversations continue to take place after our commitment to reach all 32 local authority areas to share, discuss and evolve our plans based on what people on the ground told us they needed. Listening has been important and will continue to be so. There are consistent themes coming out, some in sharper focus than others. Social enterprises are telling us that the cost-of-living crisis has resulted in utility companies predicting up to an 800% increase in bills – not protected from the price cap.  This intelligence will be used directly by us to shape our contribution to a forthcoming Scottish Government roundtable to discuss what response is needed for the sector. Another concern is about the Real Living Wage which is paid by 85% of social enterprises. This will likely be impacted by rising inflation, and social enterprises will be required to rethink their financial assumptions, leading to a potential reduction in their intended impact that is so vital for Scotland’s communities. A final, tangible commission for us arising from the Community Conversations is to work with funders, governments and the CIC Regulator to ensure CICs have the same access to resources that charities have, giving parity of opportunity and status.

CEO Chris Martin speaking at a Community Conversations event in Renfrewshire

Social Enterprise Scotland acts as a strong voice for the sector by championing the work our members, particularly with key decision makers. We were delighted to welcome Falkirk MSP Michael Matheson to the historic Arnotdale House last week. Mr Matheson came to the house, which is managed by the Cyrenians and supports their work to tackle homelessness. Mr Matheson saw first-hand how social enterprises transform Scotland’s economy.
Arnotdale House is one of more than 6,000 social enterprises in Scotland. Together they contribute more than £2.3 billion to Scotland’s economy, and support more than 88,000 jobs. The visit follows on from the Scottish Government’s social enterprise action plan, which committed to place social enterprise at the forefront of ethical and socially responsible business in Scotland. 

Linda Kelly, director of commercial services, Michael Matheson MSP Cyrenians, Jonny Reid, from Arnotdale House, and Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland

Michael Matheson MSP said: “It was great to visit Arnotdale House to see the work they are doing to support the local community. Social enterprises are important to our local communities, and it is great to see the work that Cyrenians do from Arnotdale House through their employability and support services, as well as their social enterprise café and events space.”
Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:
“We are proud to be growing a strong and inclusive voice for social enterprises in Scotland.
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Matheson to Arnotdale House to see first-hand how the more-than-profit approach at the heart of the social enterprise movement is making a difference every single day.
“Social enterprises play a leading role in putting greater fairness and equality into our economy and Arnotdale House is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”
 Linda Kelly, director of commercial services at the Cyrenians, said:
“Arnotdale House creates both jobs and community connections.
“Here our enterprise works in partnership with our services to give families and individuals what they need to thrive in a beautifully restored house which offers a unique sense of connection to Falkirk’s history and a vibrant community


Update – 23 August

Last week saw the third meeting of the Transition Group, which was set up to ensure a seamless process as Social Enterprise Scotland delivers the single enhanced intermediary (SEI) for the social enterprise sector across Scotland.

It was another positive and constructive meeting, and the group’s discussions are giving us a real insight into what the SEI needs to do and developing consensus around how Social Enterprise Scotland will be a strong voice and champion for the sector and represent and listen to our members.

The Transition Group has now commissioned collegiate work ahead of its next meeting in September to refine its thinking further.  This will contribute to developing a strong and consensual proposition for the Social Enterprise Scotland Board on membership and governance, as well as the potential functions and services that are appropriate.

There were particularly fruitful discussions on the potential role of an SEI and the Transition Group were ambitious for SES in the future, acknowledging that there is a strong case for additional resources to enable it to realise the level of ambition being articulated by the transition group, building on the business plan submitted to Scottish Government.

Importantly, the Transition Group agreed a series of online regional events to engage more directly with the wider sector in late September or late October 2022 about its emerging thinking so far. This is in addition to an anticipated national event as part of formal consultation on draft recommendations later in October. Look out for further details of how to get involved in these important engagement events, registration will open soon!

As usual, papers for the meeting will be placed on our website and there is an opportunity to reach the Transition Group at the dedicated email address.

This week, we are also continuing our Community Conversations series of events across the country. Social Enterprise Scotland Chief Executive, Chris Martin, is in Renfrewshire and Perth, meeting people involved in delivering social enterprises.


Update – 16 August

Our Transition Group (TG) will be holding its third meeting in Edinburgh on Friday this week. Colleagues will consider papers looking at how we develop the central issues for the SEI.

The TG’s starting point was to look at the core values and behaviours needed in the future. It then moved on to consider what the outcomes should be, namely building a bigger, broader, more sustainable social enterprise movement, and how to achieve them.

It has also looked at the ‘eco-system’ of support for social enterprise within which the SEI will operate and started to consider the very practical issues that surround membership, governance and board membership and the role of the voluntary code.

The meetings so far have been thoughtful and constructive and we expect this to continue as the TG clarifies issues and moves towards a series of recommendations that will be put to the SES Board for consideration.

Papers for, and minutes of, the TG are available here.

Looking ahead to the meeting, TG chair, Professor Ian Welsh, said: ‘I’m looking forward to the third of our Transition Group meetings this week.

“As expected, given the quality of the group, we have had robust and penetrating discussions around the key principles of social enterprise, its history in Scotland, the impact on place and localities, the resource and investment model and much more.

“Particularly, we have examined eco-systems, culture, values and membership through the prism of tabled papers and, this week, with the benefit of a consolidated paper based on these discussions, we will look at governance.

“Looking forward, we will begin the process of drafting recommendations, bottom out engagement options with the sector and consider some commissioned work to inform the final draft.”

We are also looking forward to the next two events in our Community Conversations programme. These are a key way that we are engaging with the sector and listening to what our members need from the SEI. Our Chief Executive, Chris Martin will be at Growbiz, in Perth and Engage Renfrewshire, in Paisley. He is looking forward to meeting everyone involved in the social enterprise movement there. We hope as many people as possible will come along.

Finally, this week, we welcomed our new Marketing and Communications Manager, Deniss Zenciks. Deniss will support our work to advocate for our members and amplify our voice as we represent social enterprise in Scotland.

Deniss comes to Social Enterprise Scotland from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where he promoted events and ran marketing campaigns. He has a track record in working with social enterprises and charities – as well as small business and entrepreneurs- to develop ways to get their message to the right people.

Deniss is passionate about creating a positive impact through work and is a strong advocate of the social enterprise movement.

He said: “I believe social enterprises are Scotland’s best chance to connect communities and provide opportunities to who needs them most, which goes hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequalities, and encourage economic growth in Scotland.”

Deniss grew up in Latvia, and studied at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. We are delighted to have him on board.


Update – 9 August

Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) became the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) for the sector a month ago this week.

This is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made, hand-in-hand with our partners, to grow a collaborative movement and speak with a stronger voice for social enterprises the length and breadth of Scotland. We are also looking ahead to what we will be working on in the coming months.

A core priority is that members lead our work and shape what we do. Our community conversation events – held for communities all over Scotland – are a key way for us to consult, listen to and understand the views of social enterprises as we shape our service. We have held events across the country – and more are planned in the coming weeks. We would be delighted to hear from organisations and networks in any area of Scotland who would like to host one of these events. Our chief executive, Chris Martin, has really enjoyed taking part, meeting the people who deliver so much positive change in their communities and finding out more on what we need to do to support them.

We will also carry out a detailed survey of social enterprises to understand what their needs are – particularly as we adapt to the rapidly changing economic background.

The establishment of a transition group (TG) has been instrumental in steering us on our path to becoming a single, strong voice for social enterprise in Scotland, and ensuring the process is smooth. This is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made, hand-in-hand with our partners, to grow a collaborative movement and speak with a stronger voice for social enterprises the length and breadth of Scotland. We are also looking ahead to what we will be working on in the coming months.

We have also welcomed new staff to SES, who are all playing their part in making sure we are representing and supporting our members.

Kim Wallace joined us from SENScot as our Director of Membership. She was joined by Jayne Chappell, our Membership Manager and Janice Nicol, our Business and Enterprise Manager. Georgie Price became our new Policy Officer to help influence and campaign on issues that are important to our members. We look forward to welcoming a new marketing and communications manager this month, and will introduce them here.

One of our key remits is to advocate for the entire movement. We highlighted the barriers facing Community Interest Companies (CICs) in The Scotsman Newspaper here. Engaging with politicians is also important. We attended a special joint meeting of five Scottish Parliament Cross Party Groups (CPGs) on Social Enterprise, Co-operatives, Fair Trade, Credit Unions and the Wellbeing Economy. Community Wealth Building is a people-led approach to local regeneration. Looking ahead, we will take forward the work of the Social Enterprise Cross Party Group in The Scottish Parliament, and launch new policy and support tools to support our members. We are exploring how we will determine priorities for our programme of research and look forward to seeing how the forthcoming Social Enterprise Census data can help shape it.

Before our new role began on 1 July, we held constructive and collaborative meetings with SENScot to work together to establish the new SEI. The work SENScot has done to build the social enterprise community is valued widely, and they built a strong foundation for the new SEI to take forward. We are grateful that we have been able to draw on their support. Social Enterprises have never been more important. We face considerable social challenges, from the rising cost of living to climate change. As we support and champion the work done by social enterprises in every corner of Scotland, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the wider sector, the Scottish Government, members of the transition group and our own staff team for their contributions and support.


Update – 2 August

The Transition Group (TG) had its second all day meeting on Friday 29th July in Glasgow.

The TG discussed position papers on ‘Values, Roles and Ethos’ for the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI), the current landscape/eco-system of support for social enterprise and membership.  The discussion on the papers also stimulated thoughts about governance, functions and services, along with ideas on critical strategic partnerships and relationships.

The TG agreed that values and behaviours are at the heart of the SEI. The discussion noted that both SES and SENScot shared key values:

  • Trust;
  • Democracy;
  • Partnership and collaboration;
  • Consultation and listening;
  • Diversity;
  • Inclusion;
  • Innovation;
  • Quality;
  • Agility.

The TG emphasised the need for the SEI to have a strong ‘value proposition’ it can offer to social enterprises (and proportionate fee structure) with a clear core offer.  There was a recognition that if social enterprise is to be a broad church, based around the voluntary code, then the SEI will need to reflect this in any governance structure.

There was also a recognition that services and functions must be rooted in the needs of social enterprises and there will be surveys to identify these needs between now and October.  Given the uncertainty of the economic environment which is changing rapidly, this landscape will evolve and will require careful attention to make sure the offer from the SEI is aligned to the needs of enterprises and economic circumstances and is complementary to other services being offered by other players.

Once the minutes of the meeting have been agreed, all papers will be available.  The TG is happy to receive suggestions and comments and has a dedicated email address contactTG@socialenterprise.scot.

The next meeting will be on 19thAugust in Edinburgh.


Update – 26 July

Shared Prosperity – what does it mean?

As a society, we face some of the most pressing challenges in a generation – from the cost of living crisis, to the impact of climate change.  But while the issues are difficult, at Social Enterprise Scotland we have seen first-hand how social enterprises are providing solutions that are already making a huge difference.

And with the new Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI), we have a lot of potential to build on what has come before and start new projects and ensure we are truly member-led.  Some key strands of our work to support and champion the sector in the coming months will be taking forward the work of our Cross Party Group policy forum in The Scottish Parliament, relaunching the thematic Social Enterprise Networks and launching a range of other exciting policy and support tools.  The Transition Group will meet again this Friday, 29th July to discuss the values and ethos that should underpin the SEI and inform its service delivery.

Social enterprises exist for social and environmental impact, often empowering excluded people and communities.  They operate across a number of sectors including housing, regeneration, social care, food and beverage and a huge range of other parts of the economy.  However, they are also part of a much bigger picture, being a crucial tool in building a new type of inclusive, sustainable, wellbeing economy.

Their transformative role in this wider context should not be underestimated.  We also need to consider, in an era where some private businesses are looking at their business purpose, how we lead the agenda for a new economy.

When it comes to the economy, for example, social enterprises make a huge contribution. They generate more than £2.3 billion for Scotland’s economy, and supporting more than 88,000 jobs.

But we want to move beyond old measures like GDP and top-down regeneration.  The wellbeing economy approach and tools such as Community Wealth Building (CWB), means we can build a more practical and sustainable approach to our economy and society.  The CWB approach combines a number of broad characteristics. This includes more democratic, shared ownership of the economy, with support for the development of SMEs, social enterprises, employee ownership, cooperatives, municipal activity and community enterprises. 

In addition, some of our key policy priorities and future direction of travel include assisting social enterprises on the road to net zero, community ownership and land reform, public service delivery, equalities and inclusion, rural and remote social enterprises, the role of health and social care enterprises and a range of other areas that are top priorities for Scotland’s diverse social enterprise community.

It is clear that whatever challenges we face, social enterprises are a key part of the solution. They are already changing the world for the better with by investing in and empowering local communities and developing creative answers to the challenges we face.


Update – 19 July

As we develop the organisation to become a stronger, more powerful voice for social enterprises in Scotland, we are engaging with the entire sector. We have been holding a series of Community Conversations aimed at listening to people across Scotland, including grassroots social enterprises. These allow us to glean valuable insights and intelligence from local areas, to ensure we continue building consensus and an inclusive approach going forward.  

So far, successful events have been held for Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Forth Valley, South Ayrshire with diarised plans to hear from colleagues in the Scottish Borders and Perth and Kinross.  Additionally, we are in the process of rearranging a Community Conversation for the Western Isles, and we plan to run events in each of the remaining local authority areas in the coming months. 

At each event, Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) CEO, Chris Martin has been updating local social enterprises and other interested parties on the transition process, while listening to the contextualised views of local, geographic networks including Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) and Social Enterprise NetworkS (SENS).  

We would like to hear from anyone who wants to host a Community Conversation to discuss their specific needs, priorities or local area. Those interested should contact Jayne.Chappell@socialenterprise.scot in the first instance.  

The events are being held as we continue our evolution to become the single, collective voice for social enterprises in Scotland. SES was previously chosen by the Scottish Government for the role of Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI), which we are committed to delivering in partnership with the sector.  

A Transition Group (TG) was established to oversee a seamless transition process.  The TG, chaired by Ian Welsh OBE, is preparing to hold its second meeting on Friday, July 29. After each meeting, regular updates will be shared and we expect to continue to share details of what was discussed and agreed.  

There are opportunities to meet independently with Mr Welsh – either virtually or in-person – to discuss the work of the TG. To inquire about this, please contact jenny.smith@socialenterprise.scot.


Update – 12 July 

Last week members of the Transition Group (TG) held their first meeting as Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) began its evolution to become the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) for the sector.  

The TG is responsible for overseeing this process and ensuring a seamless process of transition as we seek to grow our collaborative movement, build consensus, and become the single collective voice for social enterprises in Scotland. 

Five further meetings are planned between now and the end of October, and the TG will report back with recommendations in the autumn.  

We are developing a Q&A here to answer questions you may have about the group and its role. Please send any suggested questions to contactTG@socialenterprise.scot.  


Update – 4 July

The Transition Group (TG) held its first meeting at the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre on 4th July. Ian Welsh, Chair of the TG, outlined the Terms of Reference and members introduced themselves.  Most members were there in an individual capacity, however some were representatives of networks.

The group heard a presentation which outlined:

  • The timetable (6 meetings up to the 24th October);
    • Meetings will take place in different locations
  • The key issues the TG would be dealing with;
    • Membership and defining social enterprise;
    • Future governance of the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI);
    • The Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland;
    • Functions and services to be provided by the new intermediary;
    • Strategic partnerships;
  • Background material (including the current SES Business Plan 2022-2025) and
  • Planned research/surveys to inform future discussions.

The discussions which followed were very constructive and focussed on:

  • The need to articulate more clearly the role for the new intermediary:
  • Who is the SEI for?
    • Is it a trade body?
    • Is it a lobbying organisation?
    • Is it about accessing funds for social enterprises?
    • Should it deliver direct services to social enterprises?
    • Is it about building a social enterprise movement?
  • The need for the intermediary to show leadership in the current climate;
  • Articulating the ethos, values, culture and in particular the behaviours of the SEI;
  • What is the SEI seeking to enable?
  • How should the SEI engage with the Scottish Government (and demonstrate its independence)?
  • How should the SEI be held to account (by members, stakeholders, government) for its actions and performance?

The TG wants to find a common view where possible and wants to consult during the process.Minutes from future meetings and agreed actions will be posted by Social Enterprise Scotland on a dedicated website for the group.


Update – 28 June

Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) will this week become the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) for the sector. This will grow our collaborative movement and ensure we collectively speak with a stronger voice. Our role will be to represent and advocate for the sector, and to act as the voice of social enterprises across Scotland. 

As you will be aware, SES was chosen by the Scottish Government for the role of SEI following an open and transparent selection. We are excited that the SEI will go live on Friday, July 1, and we believe we are ready to hit the ground running to begin delivering this.  

A Transition Group (TG), chaired by Ian Welsh OBE, has been tasked with overseeing the evolution to a SEI and the work of this group is well underway. Members will hold their first meeting in Edinburgh on Monday, July 4, with five further dates planned, across the country, throughout the summer into September and October. SES established the TG to ensure a seamless process of transition as part of its commitment to deliver this in partnership with the entire sector. The group has a six-month remit to report back with recommendations, which will be published in full.   

We are also pleased to welcome members of the SENScot team over the course of the next month. 

Kim Wallace will join us from SENScot as our Director of Membership. She will have specific remits for developing and refining our best possible membership officer. She will be joined by Jayne Chappell, who will take up the post of Membership Manager and Janice Nicol who will become our Business and Enterprise Manager. Georgie Price will become our new Policy Officer to help influence and campaign on issues that are important to our members. All four are expected to join us in the coming weeks and we are excited to see how the new team will impact the sector and the communities we serve.   

The SES board has said the SEI will create a “growing a collaborative movement” that will ultimately give all social enterprises a collective and stronger voice. Through the transition process, we want to get out and listen to communities across Scotland to understand how we can better serve and support the work you are doing locally. We fully recognise the importance of the existing local, geographic networks including SENs and Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) to grassroots and local social enterprises, which is why we are already engaging positively with the networks. As part of the commitment to grow Scotland’s social enterprise movement, we have launched a programme of Community Conversations across the country, and we plan to visit all 32 local authority areas in the coming months.  


Update – 21 June

According to the most recent census in 2019, there are more than 6,000 social enterprises in Scotland – and early data insights ahead of the publication of the 2022 census show an increase, despite the impact of the pandemic. 
As we look forward to becoming the ‘Single Enhanced Intermediary’ from 1 July, it will be our job to grow a strong, inclusive voice for all social enterprises. That’s why we are engaging with grassroots social enterprises, rural groups, social firms and community-led work in deprived urban communities to ensure that they are all supported.  We are advocates for the entire movement.  For example, you can read about how we highlighted the barriers facing Community Interest Companies (CICs) in The Scotsman Newspaper here: https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/barriers-potentially-stifling-development-of-community-interest-companies-duncan-thorp-3732891
Furthermore, This week we’ll be at a special joint meeting of five Scottish Parliament Cross Party Groups (CPGs) on Social Enterprise, Co-operatives, Fair Trade, Credit Unions and the Wellbeing Economy.  Community Wealth Building is a people-led approach to local regeneration.  We’ll be exploring how we can work in partnership, breaking down barriers across sectors and industries, to really build community wealth.
The meeting takes place on Wednesday, 22 June, from 6.30pm to 8pm.  Find out more and book your free places here: https://members.socialenterprise.scot/events/626ff648d6f5590007b7a86b/description


Update – 14 June

The work of the Transition Group (TG) is well underway and progressing with members due to meet for the first time next month. 

The group, chaired by Ian Welsh OBE, has been tasked with overseeing the evolution to a Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI). 

Members were appointed after Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) was chosen by the Scottish Government to deliver the SEI for Scotland from 1 July.  

A date for the TG’s first meeting has been set for 4 July. This will take place in Edinburgh. 

As part of its commitment to deliver this in partnership with the entire sector – including grassroots social enterprises – SES established the TG to ensure a seamless process of transition. 

The group has a six-month remit to report back with recommendations, which will be published in full.  

The SES board has said the SEI will create a “growing collaborative movement” that will ultimately give all social enterprises a collective and stronger voice.  

Meanwhile, the first in a national series of ‘community conversations’ on the future of social enterprises got underway this week.  

An online event took place for interested parties in the Western Isles, and over the coming months they will cover all 32 local authority areas to help gain valuable insights and intelligence.  

At each event, SES chief executive Chris Martin will provide an update on the transition process, and listen to the views of local, geographic networks including Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs). 

He said: “Through the transition process, we want to get out and listen to communities across Scotland to understand how we can best serve and support the work they are doing locally. 

“The feedback about the new SEI has been very encouraging and we look forward to hearing more ideas and innovations. 

“It is important to us that we listen to people in every part of Scotland so that we can build a broad consensus. 

“This is an incredibly exciting time for our sector as we deliver a new inclusive model that will put social enterprises at the heart of Scotland’s future.” 

We are also delighted to announce that we will soon welcome new colleagues into the team.  

Kim Wallace will join us from SENScot as our Director of Membership. She will have specific remits for developing and refining our best possible membership offer.   

She will be joined by Jayne Chappell, who will take up the post of Membership Manager.  

Georgie Price will become our new Policy Officer to help influence and campaign on issues that are important to our members.   

All three are expected to join us in the coming weeks and we are excited to see how the new team will impact the sector and the communities we serve.  


Update – 7 June

As part of our commitment to grow Scotland’s social enterprise movement, we are excited to be launching a programme of Community Conversations across the country. These conversations will get underway next week in Stornoway and the Isle of Harris, and we will visit all 32 local authority areas in the coming months.

As you are aware, Social Enterprise Scotland has been chosen to be the ‘Single Enhanced Intermediary’ (SEI) for our sector, ensuring we collectively speak with a stronger voice.

Through the transition process, we want to get out and listen to communities across Scotland to understand how we can better serve and support the work you are doing locally.

We fully recognise the importance of the existing local, geographic networks including SENs and Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) to grassroots and local social enterprises, which is why we are already engaging positively with the networks. 

The feedback about the new SEI has been very encouraging and we look forward to hearing from local communities as we build an even more positive future for social enterprises.

More information on next week’s events can be found here – https://members.socialenterprise.scot/events – and please keep an eye on our website for community conversation events in other parts of Scotland.


Update – 31 May

The important work of the Transition Group (TG) is now underway as we prepare for the formal launch of a ‘Single Enhanced Intermediary’ to represent social enterprises in just over a month’s time. Independent Chair of the TG, Professor Ian Welsh OBE, has started the process of scoping out the necessary work with colleagues, reading background papers and understanding the current context of policy and practice. He has taken the opportunity to meet with the majority of TG members on an individual basis and to take the temperature of the sector, and hopes to conclude these meetings this week.

“These meetings and soundings have confirmed the strength of purpose in the sector, the ethical and moral purpose of those working within it and the desire to build a single enhanced intermediary with an inclusive culture, working in partnership with stakeholders including government,” said Professor Welsh.

“There is a recognition from all sides that we can build on the strengths of a highly regarded community-based movement, the range of existing capacity-building activity and business supports in place and the international profile we’ve generated, to catalyse a new way forward.

“We need now to make progress, build trust, a representative spirit and harness the huge reach of the sector in the interest of social-added value for people, places and communities.”

Working with colleagues, Professor Welsh will begin scheduling TG meetings this week.  Meanwhile, the Social Enterprise Scotland team is developing a programme of Community Conversations to get out and listen to local communities across Scotland to better understand how we can better serve and support the work that social enterprises are doing locally. We’ll have more details to announce on this in the coming days.

Thank you to everyone who is working hard on the transition and engaging with us as we prepare for the exciting times ahead for our sector. 


Update – 24 May

We’re delighted to announce the membership of the Transition Group (TG) tasked with overseeing the evolution to deliver a Single Enhanced Intermediary. SES is growing a strong, inclusive voice for social enterprise after being chosen by The Scottish Government to deliver the new ‘Single Enhanced Intermediary’ (SEI) for Scotland from July 1. As part of its commitment to deliver this in partnership with the entire sector, including grassroots social enterprises, SES is establishing the TG to ensure a seamless process.

As we announced last week the group will be chaired by Ian Welsh OBE who many of you will know was Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, the third sector strategic intermediary for health and social care organisations for 12 years. Social Enterprise Scotland has nominated Irene Mosota to the group. Irene is the Founding Director of I’mPerfect Foods, a social enterprise whose mission is to reduce waste innovatively and responsibly in the food supply chain. Irene has several years’ experience in a variety of social projects, conflict resolution and negotiation. She has a strong background in community and cross-boundary leadership. SENScot will be represented by John Halliday. John is CEO of the social enterprise Community Renewal Trust and Chair/co- founder of Caledonia Funeral Aid CIC. His campaigning work focuses on changing systems for commissioning and delivery at a neighbourhood level as part of rethinking approaches to ending persistent poverty and inequity.

Further members include:

Ailsa Clark is founder of Inspiralba, a social enterprise which delivers employability and learning activities for young people and those facing barriers to work, seeing first-hand the impact of Covid lockdowns as well as increasing poverty levels for those most vulnerable in our communities.

James Hilder has worked numerous community asset transfers, renewables projects, community benefit funds, community shops, land acquisitions and has established a wide range of social enterprises over the last 23 years using many different legal structures.

Angus Hardie is currently Director of Scottish Community Alliance, a group of national community sector networks which has been formed to advance the community agenda in Scotland.

Yvonne Strachan CBE has a range of experience in the third and public sectors and has a particular interest in equality and social enterprise. She is currently Chair of the Social Enterprise Academy Board and was formerly a Deputy Director in the Scottish Government with responsibility for equality, human rights and the third sector. In this role she worked to support the strengthening of social enterprise in
Scotland.

Martin Avila is Group CEO at Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS.) CEIS is the UK’s oldest and largest social enterprise business support agency. Its mission is to develop a more inclusive economy in order to reduce inequality and make Scotland a better place to live and work. Martin moved to CEIS in August 2021 from Kinning Park Complex where he was previously the Director.

Polly Chapman is the CEO and co-founder of Impact Hub Inverness, a co-working space run by HISEZ CIC that is part of an international network. She is also an accredited coach and has onboarded 10 new teams for Impact Hub Global.

The placed-based Social Enterprise Networks and Third Sector Interfaces came together to nominate two individuals to represent them on the group. We look forward to working with Claire Patullo and Jennifer Robertson. Claire, as many will know is Chief Executive at Edinburgh Social Enterprise having previously worked in two local authorities, leading multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships to address barriers experienced by some of the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland. Jennifer is Director of Glasgow Social Enterprise Network. Jennifer was previously the Social Enterprise Officer for the three TSI’s which form the Forth Valley SEN. Jennifer is a practitioner and has founded several social enterprises and is on the Board of a care centre.

The group has a six-month remit to report back with recommendations – which will be published in full. SES is engaging with existing local, placed-based networks including SENs and Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs), with very positive feedback. In a new statement, the SES board said it is “growing a collaborative movement so that all social enterprises have a stronger voice”.


Update – 17th May

We are delighted to announce that significant progress has been made on our transition to the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) for social enterprises in Scotland.  We have now issued invitations to join the Transition Group (TG) which will ensure a seamless process and oversee the work required to meet the needs of the growing and thriving social enterprise movement. We are proud to be creating a relationship of trust and confidence, with full transparency and flexibility, as we prepare for the continuity of current services and implementation of the Single Enhanced Intermediary on 1 July 2022.

The role of the TG is to ensure that future policies and activities reflect the needs of the wider sector.  The group will have a strong breadth of representation from across the movement and all parts of Scotland.  We want the membership to fully reflect grassroots social enterprises, stakeholders, the Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) and other knowledgeable experts. The group will have an independent Chair, a Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) board member, and a further six to eight members, with a six-month remit to report back to the SES board with recommendations as reflected within the attached Terms of Reference.

We’re really pleased that Professor Ian Welsh OBE will be the Chair of the Transition Group. Ian was Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, the third sector strategic intermediary for health and social care organisations for 12 years. He recently stepped down from that role but continues to offer advice and support to the ALLIANCE leadership team. He has extensive experience in the public, private and third sectors.

Thank you to everyone who has positively engaged with the establishment of the TG.  The work to date has been informed by the results of the survey we issued in April, and we are grateful to everyone who took part in that.  The dedicated team at SES has put a huge amount of time and effort into this exciting transition, and we offer our sincerest thanks for their hard work, positivity, and determination. 

We also fully recognise the importance of the existing local, geographic networks including SENs and Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) to grassroots and local social enterprises, and our CEO Chris Martin is already engaging positively with the networks.  The feedback about the new SEI has been very encouraging.  Chris will continue to travel the length and breadth of Scotland in the coming weeks to meet with everyone engaged in the new SEI.

The imminent launch of the TG will bring a collective view on how to maximise the support for social enterprises in the long-term, so that our full potential as the SEI is realised.  It is the role of the SES board to consider all Transition Group recommendations, in accordance with our existing governing documents and membership.  We give a firm commitment that the recommendations will be shared transparently with the full membership for consideration.

We also acknowledge the inspiring work that SENScot has contributed to over the years, and we are committed to democratising the voice of social enterprises in Scotland to ensure all have an equal voice. Our apologies to the SENScot Board, in the first announcement, the SES Board misinterpreted the situation, and for the avoidance of doubt, John Halliday is attending the Transition Group on behalf of the SENScot Board. We look forward to working with John. The SES Board will be represented by Irene Mosota. We will announce other members of the Transition Group in due course.

We are growing a collaborative movement so that all social enterprises have a stronger voice.  This is an incredibly exciting time for our sector as we progress the transition and successfully deliver a new inclusive model that will put social enterprises at the heart of Scotland’s future.


Update – 10th May

We are making progress on the formation of the Transition Group (TG).  Regular readers will be aware that we set out to co-create a Transition Group with the role of making advisory recommendations to the Social Enterprise Scotland Board about some of the more strategic aspects of the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI).  The TG will meet over a period of six months to deliberate and bring conclusions on important aspects of the SEI, such as governance of the SEI in the future, how membership of the SEI will be established and how its work will be shaped by The Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland.  The membership of the Group will have a strong breadth of representation from across the movement and all parts of Scotland.  It has been informed by the results of the survey we issued in April; thank you to everyone who completed that.  We will make an announcement of the Independent Chair and membership of the wider group shortly. 

Concurrently, we have  been working with partners across the sector to ensure continuity of service provision for the social enterprises who engage in the Thematic SENs.  In addition, we recognise the importance of the existing local, geographic networks (SENs and TSIs) to grassroots and local social enterprises and our CEO will be engaging with the networks to listen and understand the main issues in each area and coproduce what that support should look like locally.  Thank you to everyone who got in touch to offer to help shape the new SEI, we will be in touch and commit to ensure everyone has their voices heard.


Update – 3rd May

Welcome back to our weekly blog about our transition to a Single Enhanced Intermediary. Positive work continues to design and commission a Transition Group to oversee the work we need to do together to evolve Social Enterprise Scotland into the SEI that meets the needs of the growing and thriving movement in Scotland. We are excited about the prospects of the Transition Group being able to bring a collective view on a range of important matters to us. In advance of the work on that beginning and throughout the transition period, we want to listen to as many people as possible to help shape the offer that SES will be able to make going forward. We are very clear that our vision is to serve the sector in a way that embraces and acknowledges the breadth that exists.  We specifically celebrate the significant infrastructure that is the local SENs, which are a vital part of our social enterprise movement and offer essential support and voice at a local level. We have opportunities to meet SENs in the coming weeks and want to be clear about our commitment to continue to offer them a level of support that meets their needs. We want to make an immediate offer of support in the phase after 1 July 2022 and continue to engage in a conversation about what “ good” looks like for the support that SENs need from their national body recognising the evolving context in which we work. We look forward to listening and engaging.


Update – 26th April

We are continuing to appreciate the positive dialogue with SENScot about the pivotal role that will be played by the Transition Group in creating the right space to guide the evolution of the new single intermediary.

The Terms of Reference will be published next week, and we are actively looking for someone with the right skills to become our independent Chair, bringing out the very best of those that are gathered, and keeping us focused on the prize of a voice that can truly represent the many and diverse voices.

We are grateful to those of you who completed the recent survey, and we had a strong response given the short timescale, the results will genuinely be used to shape both the membership of the group, as well as the how it engages, and who it engages with to reach the multitude of voices, particularly those that are sometimes not heard.

Our Chief Executive met the SENScot staff this morning in what we hope will be the first of many conversations. We talked vision, we talked process, but most importantly, we talked about how, together we capture the significant legacy, and insights that are available to us in shaping next steps.

Staff had some interesting ideas and the commitment to collaborate and celebrate all that has been achieved was shared. More news next week as things begin to take shape.


Update – 19th April

Our regular readers will understand that we have committed to share a weekly update as we build toward launching an enhanced single intermediary on the 1st July.  Given the holiday period there is not a great deal to update however, in terms of full transparency, we wanted to share our ongoing work.

We continue to work constructively with the Board of SENScot to explore opportunities for their staff within the organisation; we recognise the skills and experience within the team and we continue to refine our business plan to ensure we don’t lose, unintentionally, any existing support services within the transition.

We are still looking to develop the structure of the Transition Group (TG) and in support of this we are sending out a short survey to the movement to ask for everyone’s views on the voices that are really important in shaping our approach to the transition group.  We are keen to get the balance right between proportionately reflecting the sector and ensuring we are being truly representative and inclusive in our work. We recognise that the TG alone cannot be the sole vehicle to engagement and we welcome ideas and want to be innovative in how we engage in the coming months and years. We expect this to be part of our DNA going forward and with this in mind, we are also looking at how our own Social Enterprise Scotland Board can grow to reflect our membership, the broader movement and the changes and opportunities that will inevitably arise over the next two years.  The TG will be valuable in supporting this as part of their remit.

Finally, our CEO had a well-deserved break with family but is back after the Easter holidays and keen to embark on the Roadshows and other events and activities to get a fuller understanding of how the new intermediary can support the breadth of the sector. If you want to host an event in partnership with Social Enterprise Scotland please get in touch with the team at Kate.Walshaw@socialenterprise.scot


Update – 12th April

This is the fourth weekly update for our members ahead of launching the Single Enhanced Intermediary (SEI) on 1st July.

We have held constructive discussions with the Board of SENScot to continue to explore opportunities for their staff within the SEI.  We are aiming to be in a position to share these with the team within the coming weeks and this is one of our key objectives at this early stage.

We have also continued to hold discussions with SENScot on establishing the Transition Group (TG) which will support the development of the SEI, and be in place to the end of September. These discussions are positive and constructive and our meeting on 26th April has the aim to agree the membership of the TG and confirm it’s remit and Terms of Reference.

In support of this we are sending out a short survey to the movement to ask for everyone’s views on the types of social enterprises and intermediaries who should be considered for membership of the TG, in addition to SES, SENScot and the SENS themselves.  The results will feed into the discussions on the 26th April.

This is separate from the survey we will be commissioning Community Enterprise to carry out within the movement about what social enterprises want from the SEI. We will disseminate these findings and hold participatory roadshows which will allow for direct feedback.

The SES Board met last week with a session on the “transition process” with our staff and team.  This gave everyone the opportunity to feed into the planning around this.

Outside of the membership of the TG, we are also looking at how the SES Board can be developed to reflect our membership, the broader movement and the changes and opportunities that will inevitably arise over the next two years.  The TG will be valuable in supporting this as part of their remit.


Update – 5th April

We are continuing to explore the redeploying of staff from Senscot and are taking additional advice on TUPE and its potential implications if it applies to a grant process. For the sake of both certainty and continuity, this is a priority.

We are working with SENScot to establish a six month Transition Group (TG). This will potentially have an independent Chair and 8 members, drawn from SES and SENScot and we will seek the voices of the wider sector. Sophy Green continues to represent SENScot, but former SENScot co-chair John McManus has stood down from their Board and will be replaced by Sean Connor. We wish John all the best in the future. Final details and membership of the TG will be clarified once the Terms of Reference is agreed. The TG will look at medium and longer term issues such as future governance, engagement, criteria for membership and the voluntary code of practice before making recommendations to the SES Board.

We are planning further meetings with SENScot on 6th/7th April and 26th April to take these issues forward.

In support of the TG remit, we will be commissioning Community Enterprise to carry out a survey within the movement about what social enterprises want from the single intermediary and holding a number of roadshows across Scotland.

A number of SENs have already responded positively and we look forward to strengthening and deepening our relationship with them, other intermediaries in the sector and TSIs.


Update – 29th March

We promised to update our members weekly ahead of launching the single enhanced intermediary on the 1st July.  We are working with partners delivering two concurrent work streams.  The first will look, with SENScot, at the potential redeployment of their staff, as soon as possible, to provide job security to the team and continuity of service for the social enterprises who engage with both organisations.  The other work stream will be a short-life working group, the Transition Group, with a number of partners.  This will make recommendations to the SES Board about the transition to the Single Enhanced Intermediary.  Part of the work of the Transition Group will be to commission a consultation to understand what Scottish social enterprises, and their support agencies, want from their national body.

We have published the Business Plan we submitted to Scottish Government with our application to serve the social enterprise sector as the single enhanced intermediary.  We acknowledge that the plan will continue to evolve and be informed by our members and partners and to that end we would like to put on a series of roadshows, ideally hosted where there is a Social Enterprise Network.  We will be visiting communities throughout Scotland over the next 3 months to listen and consult on local needs.   We were delighted to see Edinburgh and Glasgow’s SEN’s positive response to our Open Letter and look forward to visiting both networks.  Additionally with the number of other SENS responding to us, positively, we anticipate engaging with many social enterprises in the next 90 days.  Where there isn’t a SEN we will work closely with the TSI to deliver an event that allows social enterprises to have their voices heard.


Update – 22nd March

Social Enterprise Scotland recognises the responsibility that the opportunity to deliver the single enhanced intermediary (SEI) brings.  It is important to share that we are committed to deliver this in partnership with Scotland’s social enterprises and their support agencies, and to consult with them on what we do and how we do it.

We acknowledge the work SENScot has also done to build the social enterprise community and want to enhance it.  We will start to formally deliver this programme from 1st July 2022 but will be progressing consultations from now onwards and making internal and external changes over the next 3 – 6 months.

Our key priorities are:

  • Consulting, listening and understanding the views of social enterprises to enable us to shape current and future service provision
  • Changing our governance structure so we are more representative of social enterprises as a movement and demonstrate our independence
  • Growing markets (public and private) for social enterprises and supporting social enterprises to access those markets.
  • Providing high quality research to make the case for social enterprise.
  • Contributing, and helping social enterprises achieve Net Zero targets.
  • Ensuring that Social Enterprise Scotland is financially sustainable in the medium/long term.

We want to move as quickly as possible on these, whilst recognising that some will have a longer timescale.  This is your process and we need your views and we commit to use this weekly bulletin to update you on progress and to invite your views on what we can do differently or do better.