Social Enterprise Tayside and Fife Award ceremony

I am really pleased to be able to tell you that we have now been able to secure an appropriate venue for the Tay Cities Social Enterprise Awards. 


They are going to be held on 11th February 2019, 5.30pm in the wonderful Vista Room at the top of DC Thomson’s headquarters in Albert Square, Dundee.

 We will be issuing a link next week for you to book your places at this celebration event.

I apologise for the changes we have had to make to the arrangements for this function but we now have lined up a wonderful evening to recognise the fantastic work that is being delivered by social enterprises across the region.

Local SENs: What Are They?

This article was first posted by SENSCOT :

Executive Summary

Local Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) have been and continue to be established across Scotland – providing grassroots social enterprises with the support they need to connect, collaborate and grow at a local level.

The term ‘Network’ can be confusing – with different kinds of organisations from umbrella bodies to specialist service providers using the term. It is therefore worth clarifying what Local SENs are and what they’re not.

Today, there are 16 local SENs across Scotland – with over 900 social enterprises either members of constituted SEN or engaged with those unconstituted.

Between them, SEN members employ around 12,000 people and have a combined turnover of over £500m.

This paper outlines the function and impact of Scotland’s 16 SENs, placing them within the context of the Scottish Government’s ten-year Social Enterprise Strategy and three-year Action Plan.

The remainder of the article can be found on the SENSCOT website:-


Autumn meeting of the Fife SEN

As part of Fife Business Week 2018 Fife SEN held its Autumn meeting in the Enterprise Hub, Glenrothes.

With over 40 attendees there was plenty of chat and discussion about what is happening in the Social Enterprise sector in Fife at the moment.

The meeting consisted of 4 “speed date” overviews from our business support agencies including :-

  • Lindsay from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) brought us the latest news in social investment.

  • Chris from Cyrennians gave us a lively talk with some amusing slides about Conflict Resolution, a subject that we probably all need some training on! How many of us really know how to listen or are we just waiting for our turn to talk? Cyrenians are offering workshops and training on conflict resolution and mediation – find out more HERE

  • It was also Living Wage Week and Lynne detailed the new recognition model for towns and cities

  • Marrisa from Business Gateway admirably stepped in at the last moment and gave an update of the great workshops and free expert help that's available to you over the next few months.

  • Sam from Skills Development Service gave us a brief workshop on Skills for Growth which is a fully funded programme offering 'deep dive analysis' for your business.

There was also the regular “open mike” time in which to allow Social Enterprise managers to give an update on their particular projects. This even included a Social Enterprise pre-start who had travelled from High Valleyfield with their guitar.

  • Community Learning Exchange

This is a fantastic opportunity for communities to learn through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of common solutions. The Exchange will cover up to 100% of the costs of a visit by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of £750. If you are interested, take a look at the attached guidance notes and application form. BRAG are a member of SCA and can put you forward for the Exchange.

  • Business Gateway Information Service

Just to let you know that Fiona Elliot, your liaison for this service is going on maternity leave (congratulations Fiona!) so if you need to access the service, please send any info to

  •  A Fun Evening Out!

Josee Scott from Freedom Unlimited stood up in our Open Mic session to tell us about her exclusive evenings to treat yourself or as a gift for a special someone!

Join them for an up-cycling jewellery experiential craft evening with some special twists. Please see the attachment ‘Jewels & Tools’ for more details.

  • Cyber Fund

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government launched a £500,000 cyber fund under the National Cyber Security Programme for a voucher scheme to support small and medium-sized private and third sector organisations in Scotland to achieve the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) endorsed Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certificate.
Eligible organisations can receive up to £1,000 towards the costs of achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation.

With the estimated cost of a cyber attack being around £3,000 quite apart from the damage to your organisation’s reputation, taking preventive measures is cost-effective, especially with the financial support on offer.

  • Cyber Essentials certification is a relatively simple way to make sure you have controls in place against the most common cyber threats. You can apply for the grant funding online and, if approved, will be eligible to access the money once you have achieved Cyber Essentials accreditation

  • ** Silverburn Park needs your help**

Brian, the Chair of FEAT got up in our open mic session to ask for a few mins of your time. This is what he has to say:

We are seeking funding from the Aviva Community Fund for a project to start 2 volunteering programmes at Silverburn Park, and I would like to ask for your help by voting for us. 

 The first programme will see 5 groups of 8 volunteers a year getting training and experience in a range of horticultural and land management skills that will help them gain employment.  The second will see 5 groups of 3 volunteers a year growing fruit and vegetables on site, and then getting training in food preparation, cooking and customer service in our Cottage Window café.  We are looking for funding to help towards the cost of employing 2 Project Leaders to run these very worthwhile schemes.

If you would like to help, please use this link   You will need to login or register, but once you have done that you can cast up to 10 votes each.  But please hurry as voting closes on 20th November.

Thank you in advance for your votes! Please make the effort to vote – you never know when you may need the favour returned!

  •  Skills for Growth

 Skills for Growth is a free service for small businesses with between 5 and 250 employees. Sam Greer came along and gave us a great overview of what the project can offer to Social Enterprises. For more information click HERE

  •  Living Wage

Lynn Anderson was pleased to see a few Living Wage Employers amongst the attendees at the FSEN (Brag being one of them!). The real living wage has now increased to £9 an hour in Scotland which is great news and Lynn told us how the plan is to get the whole of Scotland on board, region by region (and the first region they are targeting is Fife!). If you’re not already but would like to be a Living Wage Employer, then contact Lynn: or for more info, see the attachment.

  • Understanding Social Investment

Lindsay from Social Investment Scotland gave us an interesting 5 minute pitch and if you don’t understand social investment by now then you need to get yourself booked on the course on Wednesday 14th. I’ve attached the invite or you can find more info HERE. I’ve been to this workshop myself and found it really useful.

  •  Fundraising Event 24th November

Maggie from Families in Trauma used the open mic session to invite everyone along to her fundraising event ‘Winter Festival’ which will be held at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre in Methil. Looks like a great family day out. For more info open the attachment Winter Festival.


We are holding our AGM on 28th November from 5pm to 6.30pm and would be delighted if you would come and join us. Find out what we’re getting up to these days!

  • Procurement – Is it working for SE?

Brian has been asked to speak at an event in a couple of weeks time and would value some of your opinions and feedback. If you would take the time to read the attachment and get back to him, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Fife Charities Trust

This is a payroll lottery set up by Fife Council. They give away £3k every month in total to charities and SEs so speak to your local Community Manager to ask them to nominate you! If you’re not sure who your local manager is, just ask me.

  • Social Enterprise Day

This is on the 15th November – get a shout out about the great work your SE is doing using the #WhoKnew hashtag. For more info click HERE

  • Business Gateway

The latest free workshops can be accessed HERE. Also Digital Boost have loads of really useful guides on everything from GDPR to Social Media which you’ll find HERE or if you want some 1:1 help, get in touch with Marissa –

Lots of discussion and networking as well with both Bikeworks and Warrier Academy training taking advantage of having so many advisors in the room at one time to hold in depth discussions on their future plans.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Business Rates 2018/19

Business rates (also called non-domestic rates) are taxes on business property to help pay for local council services.

This guide has been prepared by Fife Council’s Economy, Planning & Employability and Revenue & Commercial Services with information from the Fife Assessor. It is intended to help businesses better understand how their business rates are calculated, the reliefs or discounts schemes available, and ways to pay.

The information is the best available at the date this guide was prepared.

Business owners and managers are encouraged to visit the Scottish Assessors’ website for interactive tools and information on rateable values and the valuation roll.

Fife Council’s website has the most up-to-date information on reliefs and payment processes for business rates.

The Scottish Government has developed a website for businesses with up-to-date information about business rates at

The publication can be found here:- Business Rates 2018/19

FSEN Meeting April 2018

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for those of you that made it to the last FSEN meeting.

We had over 40 attendees which is fantastic and no mean feat with the geographical spread we have in Fife.

We had them crammed into every corner of the room! More pics can be seen at:


The next FSEN meeting is on the 20th June - Save the date now!




How to get compliant for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

How to get compliant for GDPR

In summary, the Data Protection Act is being overhauled and will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will become enforceable across Europe, including the UK, on 25 May 2018.

Who does this affect?
The GDPR applies to all personal data about individuals collected or processed in Europe (regardless of those individuals’ nationality or citizenship) so this change will affect you and your work.

Whether you collect the personal data or handle personal data collected by others, the GDPR will apply.

What are the changes?
The new regulation modernises the old act and even changes the very definition of "personal data" which, for example, is redefined in the GDPR to include an individual's Genetic data, Biometric data, Location data and Online identifiers. It also introduces a new category of data, called pseudonymous data. GDPR introduces stricter requirements regarding privacy policies, data breaches, consent, and data about children, amongst other things.

What is the impact?
All businesses must set themselves up to be compliant, follow best practice and protect their customers data. If a member of the public raises a concern with the ICO, the body will work with you to put things right however, they do have a range of options at their disposal should you fail to come into compliance which include suspended activities and dissuasive penalty fines.

How do I become compliant?
To get you started, a simple overview of the GDPR can be downloaded here. It breaks down the information into 2 sections, "Understanding how your business is impacted" and "How to begin your compliance journey".

This will help you better understand your obligations and help you put a plan of action into place, so you can work towards compliance.

Lead with Women in Scotland

Women’s Enterprise Scotland working in partnership with Fife Council Economic Development to deliver this women’s leadership development programme at the new Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes.

The Lead With WES programme is designed for women business owners wishing to lead their business through growth to become a sustainable, high performing organisation. We will help businesswomen increase their confidence in leadership by enabling them to strategically analyse their business against their vision for the future, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to grow their business using models and tools. We will also help them identify their own leadership style and develop their leadership and management skills to fully embed their learning in their business.


We would expect participants of the programme to:

  • Identify their business growth goals and objectives
  • Strategically analyse their business
  • Create their own business strategy and plan for growth
  • Develop their leadership and management skills
  • Implement their plan for growth
  • Evaluate their own performance and plan for sustainable growth


A blended learning approach will be used to ensure that everyone’s learning needs and preferences are catered for. By blending the use of workshops and online content, you will be able to both work on and in your business during the programme.

Four, one-day workshops are scheduled to allow face to face training, facilitated group discussions and sharing of experiences. The workshops will focus on equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to implement what you learn in your business.

All workshops will take place at the new Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes from 10am – 4pm.

  • MANAGING CHANGE – 16th May
  • LEADING FOR GROWTH – 5th September

To Book

Call Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 or email








Business Loans Scotland

Would your business benefit from a loan of up to £100,000?

Small and medium sized businesses in Fife could be eligible for loans of up to £100,000 as part of a funding programme delivered by Business Loans Scotland.

Applications are welcome from limited companies, social enterprises and partnerships with four or more partners. Sole traders and partnerships with three or fewer partners can also submit applications for loans of over £25,000. The funding can be used for working capital and to help buy plant, equipment and business property.

The loans are intended to provide gap funding, and are only available where other public sector funding (including the Business Loans Scotland’s contribution), come to no more than 50% of the total funding package.

Businesses applying need to demonstrate that they have explored all other available funding options. This includes personal funds and borrowing, bank funding and the potential for equity from venture capitalists. Support and advice is available from Business Gateway and Midlothian Council’s economic development team to help local businesses reach this stage.

Applicants are also required to demonstrate what their business or business project will bring to the local or Scottish economy.  As a guide, the following business sectors are likely to be eligible for support: manufacturing, services to manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and distribution, software, agriculture linked to farm diversification, tourism and tourism infrastructure. 

Certain other businesses may also be considered, such as restaurants which support local tourism; retail activities in isolated settlements where there is no suitable alternative provider or which have a tourism focus; specialist business activities where key skills could be lost, and some service-based businesses. Those which are unlikely to be eligible for support include businesses involved in the sale of motor vehicles, real estate, speculative property development, professional services, social and personal services and local services.

For more information, and to find out how to apply for a loan, visit

Screening of Resilience : The Biology of Stress & the science of Hope

FREE screenings of the film RESILIENCE on Wednesday 21st February 2018, 7pm-9pm in Glenrothes

Apex Scotland's RE:SET - REvising youth mindSET service and its fellow members on Fife's Voluntary Sector Children's Services Forum are hosting the first of 2 screenings of the film Resilience in Glenrothes on Wednesday 21st February, 7pm-9pm, to deepen our understanding of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and support cultural change. The screening is followed by Panel Discussion, interfacing with the audience through Question and Answer session to explore insights and action, with fantastic speakers:

•Karyn McCluskey, Chief Exceutive of Community Justice Scotland

•Chelsea Cameron, Young Scot and Young Hero Award Winner, 2017

•Jennifer Knussen, Headteacher Pitteuchar East Primary School

•Eugene Adams, Child Adolescent Mental Health Services

The event is preceded and concluded with refreshments and market place of support organisations, where delegates can network, ask questions and share experiences. Please find link to the eventbrite registration below if you are interested or know anyone who would be interested in attending. (A second eventbrite link will be made available shortly for our daytime screening on Wed 14th March.)

  • Members of Fife's Voluntary Sector Children Services Forum, supported by Fife's Health and Wellbeing Alliance, invite you to join them at the first of two screenings, to deepen our understanding of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and support cultural change. 'The original research was controversial, but the findings revealed the most important public health findings of a generation. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behaviour. RESILIENCE chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education

Disability Confident

A New Year’s Resolution for Business Success

We would like to encourage you to make “Disability Confidence” your New Year’s resolution. 

The Disability Confident agenda has replaced the Two Ticks Symbol.  The principles are the same; to become a business that embraces equality and diversity in the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities and health issues in the workplace. 

Building a reputation as a Disability Confident Employer is a proven marker for business success; and you could discover someone your business just couldn’t do without.

Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service can help you become a Disability Confident Employer.  Our Disability Confident Consultants will provide you with free and confidential advice about:

  • Recruitment, training and retention solutions that allows you to recruit and keep the right people for your business

  • Financial support to pay for adjustments or equipment to help people stay in work through the Access to Work Scheme

  • Funding to help recruit and retain people with disabilities and health issues in the workplace

  • Support available to help existing employees who might be struggling to stay in work

  • Equality and Disability Awareness Training for staff and managers

Working alongside one of our Disability Confident Consultants opens up a world of free specialist recruitment and retention solutions for your business. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Next steps: Contact us for more information on or 01592 583142 and one of our Disability Confident Consultants will be in touch.

Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step to becoming Disability Confident.