Latest news, information and opportunities for individuals starting something good!
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Out and about

November is always one of the busiest months in the enterprise calendar and the whole team at Firstport have been out and about meeting budding social entrepreneurs across the country (and abroad!) and celebrating the achievements of those already up and running.  Networking is key to making the right connections for your business so we've compiled some events that we think you should attend. Check them out below.

In other news, Vital Spark has now selected participants in all three areas and we are delighted to introduce the participants in Dunoon. This inspiring lot will be taking over the hub and turning their ideas into social enterprises that will support communities in 
Argyll and the Islands.

This edition is truly packed with information, events and opportunities that can help you and your social enterprise so keep reading!


Congratulations are in order

We are so delighted to see social entrepreneurs being recognised for their achievements, and last week not one, but two social entrepreneurs we have supported became recipients of much deserved awards.

Greg Chauvet from the Glasgow Bike Station became the Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Herald Society Awards 2015 and James McIlroy from Eurobiotix won the One to Watch award at the Social Enterprise Scotland 2015, well done!!

Vital Spark 

Sparks are flying in Dunoon, meet the inspiring individuals turning their ideas into vital products and services for their communities.

Duncan McGillvery  
Duncan is setting up Inspired by Autism, which aims to provide support services for families living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D).  Plans include a parent support group, specialised training for parents and carers, respite facilities and activities for people with Autism. 

Fiona Page 
Fiona's idea, Takeaway Creative is a unique service to bring creative and leisure hobbies into people’s homes. Workshops are centred on a range on activities such as arts & crafts, music, textiles, poetry and more. It targets isolated individuals in their homes, for example the elderly or those suffering from long term illnesses. Whatever the reason Takeaway Creative will take the joy to them.

Monty Phillips 
Monty has set up Fuss Pot Farm, a cooperative of growers in Dunoon and the surrounding areas that grow food indoors, outdoors and anywhere you can think off. Fuss Pot Farm is all about food - Nutrient dense, free food. 

Craig Peden 
Craig is looking to set up a social enterprise providing disability
accessories and items that are fit for purpose. This venture aims to re-engineer and upcycle disability vehicles and accessories to meet individual needs. Craig is working towards creating visually attractive, versatile products that will meet client needs at an affordable cost. 

Routes to start up

Using Ditto is a straightforward way to start a business- take a business model from our bank of ideas, adapt it to suit the needs of your community, tap into the support available and get started!

It makes the process of starting a social enterprise simpler and faster and we are convinced that there are people out there dreaming of running their own business who could benefit from it.

With this in mind, we are running a free event for anyone thinking about starting a business, so they can learn about social enterprise and whether it is the right route for them. It may not suit everyone, but we reckon we can inspire many budding entrepreneurs to look at social enterprise as a viable way to make their dreams a reality!

Social enterprise: another route to start a business
Tuesday 24 November, 4-6pm, Edinburgh



Just Enterprise Workshops


Come to our workshops and build new skills to help you run your business. More details and dates our website.

Legal Structures
17 November 10.30am-12.30pm, Glasgow

Planning and Delivery
17 November, 1.30pm - 3.30pm, Glasgow

Social Entrepreneurs' Chat Show

The Social Entrepreneurs Chat show returns to the Melting Pot next Wednesday 18 November at 6pm.

For one night only three inspiring social entrepreneurs will candidly share their personal stories in front of a live studio audience, reflecting on why they started, what drives and sustains them, and what advice they would give to others setting up and running their social enterprise. Spaces are limited to this ticketed event, view full details here.

Dates for your diary

Tuesday 17th November, 12pm to 14.30pm, Ullapool
Go along and learn how social media can help your business/social enterprise. There will be a number of experts hosting tables at the conversation café, including: Lorraine Davidson, Business & Life Coach,  Kenny MacKay from Business Gateway, David Bryan from Social Enterprise Academy

Free capacity building workshops for SME's and social enterprises
Wednesday 18 November, Glasgow
Viridor are running two free workshops: Introduction to the Data Protection Act and Introduction to IT Security for Small Businesses. To register, email or call 0141 301 1212.

Digital Media Meetup
Thursday 26 November, Glasgow
This event celebrates those who use digital for social good. The third sector is proving to be an exciting and dynamic area of innovation, ideas and invention. Three speakers will illustrate the ways in which digital technology can be used to inform, collaborate, support, grow, market and brand. 
Legal workshops for social entrepreneurs
Monday 7 December, 11.45am to 15.30pm, Edinburgh

RBS Legal, Unltd and DLA Piper are working in partnership to help you learn about the basics of commercial contracts, negotiations, employment and IP (Intellectual Property) for your social enterprise. This free legal basics workshop will help you to understand and develop your social enterprise.  Places are limited, so follow the link and book now!

Social Investment workshops
Social Investment Scotland would like to invite you to their social investment workshops in Inverness, Aberdeen and Oban starting 1st December. They’ve been well received so far with 96% of attendees rating them ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very good,’ so if you’re interested in learning more about social investment, or are preparing for a loan, then these workshops are for you. 

Sector News

For The Good of Everyone

Social Enterprise Scotland are calling all Scottish social enterprises to complete their new, short consultation For The Good Of Everyone - A Consultation on The Holyrood 2016 Election Manifesto for Social Enterprise.

Help shape the policies of the next Scottish Government and Parliament by filling in their manifesto consultation. 

Funding opportunities

Shell Springboard supports UK’s SMEs with commercially viable solutions that help transition to a lower carbon economy. The programme offers grants of up to £150,000, alongside networking with the key players in the low carbon sector, comprehensive business feedback from an independent panel of judges and exciting publicity opportunities.
Deadline for applications- 20 November

The Venture is an initiative by whisky makers Chivas Regal to find and support the most promising aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The winners from across the world will share a prize of $1m in funding and resources. Chivas will be on hand to provide information about The Venture at the Social Entrepreneur Chat Show at the Melting Pot.

Tesco Local Community Scheme
Grants of up to £12,000 are available to communities in England, Scotland and Wales through the Tesco Local Community Scheme. The scheme which is being funded through the 5p carrier bag charge will provide grants of between £8,000 and £12,000 to improve green spaces in communities.
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