On 1st August we have published the key suggestions and messages raised by stakeholders at the 'The Way Forward' discussion sessions (TWF) held on 13rd June. Our response is as follows. A detailed response will be included in the Strategy Scoping Paper to be published very soon.
- We are very glad that the participants at the session have pro-actively and enthusiastically contributed their ideas on the development of FSEN. We agree with many of the suggestions and, in fact, have undertaken initiatives in line with their vision.
- We recognise the potential of FSEN as a point of contact for social enterprises to engage with the government, the local institutions, educational organisations and other enterprises for partnership, collaboration and skills-sharing. For example, we have been working closely with the Fife Council and the University of St Andrews on securing resources and workforce for the social enterprise community.
- We have placed a strong emphasis on online presence and digital communications. The FSEN website, Facebook interface and LinkedIn account are all designed to strengthen our reach to the local community for marketing, communications, information sharing and recruitment purposes. We have members of staff dedicated to develop FSEN's media relations.
- We are in the process of revising the services provided for members. From network services, membership benefits to media interfaces, we are currently engaging with members and inviting feedback. Our interns are also speaking to members individually with an aim to establish a range of tools and guidance to support our members.
- We are a key partner at a local level and are represented at local strategic partnerships. We have a working relationship with local bodies such as the Fife Chamber of Commerce as well as national bodies such as SENSCOT and Social Enterprise Scotland.
- We successfully hired a graduate and a student to join the management team and assist the FSEN Coordinator with his work. This was made possible by the Santander SME Internship Scheme. We look forward to expanding our management team and dedicate more resources to the operations and outreach of FSEN.
- We recognise the importance of bringing in the experience and expertise from members. The FSEN board serves the purpose of harnassing the skills of members and to have a broad representation of social enterprises of a diverse size, geographical stretch and development.
- We have undertaken two significant projects in collaboration with Playfair and Enactus in order to invest more in the development of FSEN and enhance the services we provide.
WHAT IS ‘FSEN – THE WAY FORWARD’?
On 13th June, FSEN organised a half-day workshop for social businesses and social entrepreneurs to discuss the future of FSEN. Special thanks to Bonnie Hacking from the University of St Andrews who facilitated the discussions and guest speakers: Derek Marshall from Factory Skatepark, Susan Smith from Dundee SEN and Kim Wallace from Senscot. More information about the event can be found from our earlier media release.