Network news

Fife Business Week Website goes Live!

The countdown to FIFE Business Week 2016 is now well underway with the launch of its new website. The theme for this year’s programme of events is Supporting New and Growing Businesses. Running from 7 to 11 November, there will be a week of action focusing on key issues that are impacting Fife entrepreneurs, business start-ups and employers with fresh insights into workforce development, finance and strategy and digital connectivity.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Depute Leader of Fife Council and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning pressed the button to turn the website live.

This year’s Fife Business Week aims to be the best to date. There’s a full package of events with something to suit all businesses in all sectors. It is the ideal environment for companies to discuss important and current issues affecting the local economy at the wide range of seminars and workshops. This is a great opportunity for Fife to showcase local businesses and their success. Fife companies can come along, talk to each other, make new contacts, and exchange ideas.
— Councillor Lesley Laird

Hosted by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team and Business Gateway team, this important initiative is designed to support businesses to succeed whilst making Fife the best place to do business.

During Fife Business Week, a Fife Council Meet the Buyer event will also be scheduled to connect businesses with buyers and decision makers to discuss how to access business with public sector agencies and prime private sector contractors, and highlight upcoming opportunities.

For more information on Fife Business Week please email craig.rutherford@bgfife.co.uk or visit www.fifebusinessweek.co.uk. Full details of events can be found on the website at www.fifebusinessweek.co.uk. For the full press release, please click here.

Ambitious social enterprises wanted

Firstport is looking for ambitious, early stage social enterprises that want to scale and take on social investment, to take part in their social enterprise accelerator programme LaunchMe. LaunchMe will provide you with seed funding, intensive business support, investment readiness support, investment brokerage and mentoring. You can also pitch to get any investment that you secured matched!

What is LaunchMe?

LaunchMe is Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator. It supports ambitious, early stage social enterprises to scale up and increase their social impact. LaunchMe provides seed funding, intensive business support, investment readiness support, investment brokerage, mentoring and access to match funding.

We are looking for social enterprises that

  • are less than 3 years old
  • operate in Scotland
  • have a track record of trading and achieving social impact
  • have ambition to scale
  • have the appetite to take on social investment

Contacts

Sophie Badoux at sophie@firstport.org.uk | 0131 558 2724 | www.launchmescotland.org.uk

For more information, click here to download the infosheet.

Social Enterprises in Fife Business Week 2016

We are delighted to announce that an agreement to hold two FREE events dedicated to Social Enterprises has been reached as part of the 2016 Fife Business Week.

Meet the Social Funder at Adam Smith Theatre

The main event for Social Enterprises will take place in the morning of Friday 11th November 2016 in the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy. This picks up and builds upon the feedback from the "Meet the Social Funder" event held last year. It will be an event Fife Social Enterprises should not miss. A range of speakers is being lined up and there will also be an opportunity for you to have a stall to showcase your companies work as well as network with other enterprises. Save the date in your calendar now! More details to follow soon.

Advertising with Social Media Workshop

On Tuesday 8th Nov 2016 an "Advertising with Social Media" Workshop will be held at the Ecology Centre, Kinghorn from 09:30 - 12:30.

Want to quickly build a relevant fan base or an active e-mail list? Want to generate sales straight away? If the answer to these questions is yes, you should consider using paid social media advertising to help supplement your organic activities, in order to achieve your business objectives. You can book your place now for this FREE workshop by clicking HERE.

We look forward to seeing our members and non members there. Please join us!

For more information on these events or on Fife Business Week please contact Graeme Ferguson Graeme.ferguson@fife.gov.uk or on 03451 55 55 55 ext 44 24 16.

Workers’ Educational Association: Workshops in Fife

Creative Writing by the Loch

A series of Workers’ Educational Association creative writing workshops drawing inspiration from the landscape around Kinghorn Loch. These relaxed and friendly workshops will be facilitated by Maureen Sangster – poet, writer, artist and experienced facilitator, these workshops will begin with a half hour exploration of the environment surrounding Kinghorn Loch.

  • Workshop 1 –Friday 26th August 1.30pm–4pm - £11.50 per head including tea/coffee
  • Workshop 2 -Sunday 28th August 11am–4pm - £25 per head including tea/coffee & homemade scones and jam
  • Workshop 3 –Friday 9th September 1.30pm–4.30pm - £13.50 per head including tea/coffee
  • Workshop 4 –Sunday 18th September 1.30pm–4.30pm - £13.50 per head including tea/coffee
  • Concessions available: discounts available for booking of two or more workshops at full rates
  • Location: The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn Loch, Kinghorn, KY3 9YG
  • On-site parking available.

For more information or to book a place, please visit WEA Fife's website

Workshops on Tolerance or Inclusion

To celebrate Diversity Week, the Workers’ Educational Association are offering workshops across Fife exploring the difference between tolerance and inclusion

  • Monday 5th September 2016, 10am – 1.30pm
  • Sailor’s Rest, 230 High Street, Methil

 

  • Tuesday 6th September 2016, 1.30pm – 5.00pm
  • Bowhill Learning Centre, 145 Station Road, Cardenden

 

  • Wednesday 7th September 2016, 9.30am – 12 noon
  • Lomond Centre, Woodside Way, Glenrothes

 

  • Thursday 8th September 2016, 9.30am – 12 noon
  • Valleyfield Community Centre, Abbey Street, High Valleyfield

Come along to this interactive workshop and explore different perspectives and opinions on diversity through exploring and discussing a number of published pieces on the subject. There will be interactive activities and also the opportunity to write about your own experiences. This workshop aims to broaden understanding on the differences between tolerance and inclusion, increase awareness of a range of issues and impacts related to diversity, and provide an opportunity for participants to tell their stories. For more information or to book a place, please visit WEA Fife's website

Strategy Scoping Paper published

Following the highly successful event ‘FSEN – The Way Forward’, we have published a Strategy Scoping Paper based on the feedback from social enterprises in Fife. The wide-ranging discussions took place at the workshops, thanks to the input from stakeholders in the local community: directors and managers of social businesses, social entrepreneurs, professionals in the third sector, and representatives from Fife Council, Dundee SEN, Senscot, the University of St Andrews and Fife Chamber of Commerce.

The paper outlines the consensus and recommendations of the stakeholders in the social enterprise community. It does not aim to provide technical details or step-by-step guidance to practical actions, but rather to give an overview of the session conducted, summarising the key actions advocated by the stakeholders. The paper first discusses the mounting issues of FSEN and the possible scope of actions. It then looks at FSEN’s role and outline the analysis of various types. The paper seeks to address to the following areas:

  • Key messages from guest speakers
  • SWOT and PEST analysis of the network
  • Achievements and challenges
  • Power Interest Grid for FSEN prioritisation
  • Future and 5-year plan
  • Key actions concluded

We have included our detailed response to the feedback in the Scoping Paper. 

There is a need for a strong digital presence for FSEN and for the network to serve as the first point of contact for social enterprises and entrepreneurs alike.
— Members feedback
The network needs to focus on increased communication and online presence. Those efforts will raise the profile of FSEN and its members.
— Members feedback
The subject of resource allocation is outside the FSEN grasp at the moment. It is essential that discussions start at a local level to clarify on how the future of the sector and most importantly of the support available for the social enterprises in Fife will be delivered...This is vital for the FSEN at a moment that the network is sitting at the table of the Edinburgh City Region Deal. This is a central point and unanimously agreed by the FSEN members as key for the success of the sector in Fife. There must be clarity of roles and partnerships at strategic level, and an understanding that social enterprises, including members of the FSEN, must have a say on the support structures available to them in order to influence national delivery and policy.
— Strategy Scoping Paper
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Please contact us if you wish to access the document.

 

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.

FSEN response to recommendations by stakeholders in TWF

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.