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We hope you're all feeling relaxed after the summer break. We've got lots of information to share with you this month - Just Enterprise workshop dates, the chance of winning up to Â£32,500 for your organisation, loan funding from Social Investment Scotland, free virtual learning opportunities, and a new business competition which could win you £1,000. 

In addition to our Networking lunch in North Uist next month, HISEZ will be networking and lunching in Ullapool on Tuesday 6 October and Thurso on Wednesday 28 October. We have not finalised details yet but keep an eye on our Facebook page for up to date information and a booking link and we will have full details in next month's newsletter.
Our social enterprise of the month features the first bilingual organisation we have worked with - Comunn na Gaidhilg (or CNAG pronounced 'crak' for short).


Financing your Social Enterprise - North Uist
Kirkibost Café, Cladach Kirkibost, North Uist HS6
Tuesday 22 September 2015 - 12.30-3pm

Join Brian and Polly from HISEZ and Eileen Gardiner from Social Investment Scotland, to learn about different ways of financing the activities of your Social Enterprise. Representatives from HIE will also be in attendance. Book your place here.


This event is brought to you in association with Just Enterprise.

Just Enterprise Workshops 


Budgeting for your Organisation & Funding Applications - Thursday 1 October 9.30am-4pm - Elgin Youth Cafe, Elgin
This is a full day participative course on budgeting. 
Course contents include: 

  • How to construct an Income & Expenditure Budget
  • How to construct a cash flow budget
  • How to adapt these models to show funders why you need their intervention and the financial effect it will have on your organisation.
This is a practical course and delegates will be required to bring along a calculator and writing materials. Constructing a budget for Income & Expenditure and for cash flow is also covered in our 2-day Finance for Practitioners course.

An Introduction to Tendering - Wednesday 28 October 9.30am-4pm  
Spectrum Centre, Inverness

This workshop has been designed to provide practical support for enterprising third sector organisations who want to respond to public sector tender opportunities. Facilitated by procurement experts, with contribution from buyers it is aimed at third sector organisations with little or no knowledge of public sector tendering. 

Participants will gain an understanding of public sector procurement and the tendering process, specifically: 

  • Understanding the terminology
  • Where to find opportunities - including an overview of Public Contracts Scotland
  • Legal considerations and the rules surrounding tendering
  • How to get ready to tender
  • How buyers evaluate bids
  • Top Tips for writing a good tender

Costing & Pricing - Thursday 12 November 9.30am-4pm  
Spectrum Centre, Inverness

This is a full day participative workshop, split into a morning session on costing with the afternoon on pricing

The workshop explains how you can accurately cost your services on a full cost recovery basis and will show you how to price your services and explain a variety of techniques used in product pricing. 

It is a practical workshop requiring delegates to bring along a calculator and writing materials. And please note that the content of this workshop is also covered during Day 2 of the Finance for Practitioners course.

To book your place at either of these workshops this link will take you to the booking form.

Places for workshops are free and are offered on a first come, first served basis so please book early to guarantee your place. Just Enterprise is a Scottish Government funded programme specifically designed to assist the growth of Scotland’s third sector. Visit or telephone 0141 425 2939 for details of the full range of support available.

Each year The NatWest SE100 Index recognises social enterprises on the Index who have demonstrated some of the best business practice within the sector. This year it will award five social enterprises a share of £32,500 in prize money!

The NatWest SE100 is a listing of social ventures ranked and scored according to financial growth and impact measurement practice. 

Participating is free: you can enter the NatWest SE100 Awards right now by creating or updating your SE100 profile. For more information about the criteria and application processes, please go to: or contact the SE100 team directly by email: or phone: 020 8533 8898.

Profiles must be complete by midday 24th August 2015 for your social enterprise to qualify.

Community Loan Fund Now Open

Social enterprises are being encouraged to apply to a new fund offering loans of £25,000 to £100,000. SIS Community Capital, run by Social Investment Scotland, provides affordable unsecured finance over a six year term. 

Loans from the new fund are structured to allow social entrepreneurs to generate income and use cash flow to build revenues paying just interest-only in the first three years at an affordable rate of six per cent per annum. 

The funding is ideally suited to established social enterprises which are looking to expand or replicate their business through, for example, buying or building new properties and equipment. 

Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “SIS Community Capital will fast track the growth ambitions of up to 10 social enterprises across Scotland. 

"By providing growth capital at an affordable cost over a six year term, customers will have the time to be able to develop their businesses, and focus on increasing their social impacts, before loan repayments begin.

“However, there are only limited funds available so we’d encourage any interested social entrepreneurs to come and speak with us as soon as possible.”

SIS Community Capital is composed of money raised entirely from private investors.

The final deadline for investment applications is 14 October 2015. For further information and how to apply follow this link


Do you have an idea for a product or service that will benefit the surrounding community? The Take Action competition is open to anyone from the Highlands and Islands. Entrants must come up with an idea for a product or service that will benefit the local area. The winning entrant will receive a prize of £1000 cash to help put their business idea into practice and a year’s membership of 'WeAreTheFuture' - a global youth entrepreneurship organisation.

Initial competition briefs must be submitted via Eventbrite by September 14. Four entrants will then be shortlisted to attend the final of the competition at the Take Action Highlands and Islands event in Oban on 7 October. One winner will be chosen by a select panel of judges. Use of CalMac ferries for travel to and from the event will be free of charge for finalists.   

Take Action is a 'WeAreTheFuture' Initiative to engage school students across Scotland in enterprise and entrepreneurship. This programme is supported by the Scottish Government.

If you have any questions regarding the Take Action Highlands and Islands competition please contact: Find out more about Take Action here
Investing in Young People
The Virtual Learning Academy have fully funded SVQs in Management for employees aged under 25.  If you have employees within this age group who are perhaps involved in supervising team members, partners, stakeholders or the public why not put them through a management qualification.
This is totally free to the candidate and the employer and a great investment, worth over £2,500 per person. All it takes is a couple hours per week.  The VLA can support them online too so geography is not a challenge. If this is of interest click here for more information or call Lorraine on 01349 618718. You can also email:
Marketing & Enterprise Development Manager
This post will be responsible for the marketing and development of Wild things! social enterprise activities. Working closely with Wild things! Executive Director, it will serve a vital role ensuring that the charity continues to be sustainable by generating independent income to reinvest in its social and environmental purpose. 

The key responsibility of the position is developing the charity’s social enterprise income by UK wide marketing, PR and sales for the Leader training programme and bespoke courses, in line with the Wild things! three year Business Plan. 

The post holder will be based at the charity’s office in Findhorn. However, consideration will be given to a work arrangement where part of the working week could be based at home. The charity would, therefore, welcome applications from outside Moray.

This post, jointly funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Robertson Trust, is for two years. A third year may be possible depending upon available funding. Closing date for applications is 12 noon, Monday 31st August 2015. Please send your completed application form together with a covering letter by e-mail to: Interviews will be held on Friday 11th September 2015.  For further information go to
Social Enterprise of the Month
Comunn na Gàidhlig was established in 1984 to promote and strengthen the Gaelic language by working with young people and communities. 

One of CnaG's main priorities is the promotion of Gaelic Medium Education as a means to increase the number of speakers of the language. When the organisation was set up over 30 years ago there were no gaelic medium units in Scotland and after considerable work, supporting parents and communities, there are now dedicated Gaelic schools and units throughout the country. 

The organisation offers a variety of services and activities mainly aimed at young people and these include weekly Gaelic youth clubs known as 'Sradagan', Summer youth camps, and the John Muir Award programme. This is in addition to its 'Gaelic Initiatives'  work in various communities.  

The group employ 17 people and have offices in Stornoway, Inverness and Glasgow. Staff work closely with local authorities and with other Gaelic groups such as 'Bòrd na Gàidhlig' and 'Comann nam Pàrant'

Plans for the future include the development of an Outdoor Activity Service with the potential for a purpose built centre. Development Manager with CnaG, Donald Morris, explained more:

already offer some outdoor activity sessions to school children throughout the year but this is comparatively small when you consider the number of children in gaelic medium education and we see there is great demand for such a service."

"The outdoor activity market is strong in Scotland and 
particularly in the Highlands and so it makes sense to pursue a model where we could meet the demand from Gaelic speaking children/adults and learners of the language in addition to offering a bilingual service which would help meet the demands made on the current outdoor providers."

"To develop such a 
service also requires the provision of training for Gaelic speaking instructors to run such courses. We are working with partners on this and at the very early stages of development but it is an exciting time. Who knows, years down the line we could have a franchise of centres like they have in Wales." 
To find out more about the work of Comunn na Gàidhlig take a look at the website or find them on facebook.
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