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Greetings from Sapporo, Japan! HISEZ have gone International but only for a few days. Yesterday we visited the Impact Hub in Tokyo and met with people who bring together many aspects of enterprise all in one amazing building. More than 150 Entrepreneurs are based here from many different fields. The hub promotes itself as part innovation lab, part business incubator and part community centre. Pictured here is the most important networking area - the kitchen! It is definitely our kind of place.  We are now in the North of the country and very much at home in rural Japan which has many similarities to the Highlands and Islands. Even the weather is the same. Tomorrow we are delivering our talk on social enterprise in the Highlands and Islands at a Research Institute in Hokkaido. It is interesting to see how much we have in common with our third sector counterparts in this part of the world.

Meanwhile back in Inverness we have finally moved to our new home - 67a Castle Street, Inverness, IV2 3DN for anyone who wants to find us. Our phone number and email address remains the same. And we have finalised a date for our office launch event. We are having HighSEZ T@3 on Thursday 28 May and look forward to welcoming you along. In the meantime if you are in the area, call in and see our bold wall colour choice.

We will be in the Western Isles next month for two networking lunches and look forward to seeing you in Harris or Stornoway if you wish to join us for lunch and a chat. 

The Glendale Trust in Skye is our Social Enterprise of the month. A group tackling many of the same issues that the folk of Hokkaido in Northern Japan are also facing - rurality, an ageing population and lack of economic development. The Trust is working hard to remedy these issues.

How To Think Like a Business - Community Groups provide as much of a service as many other businesses we know and yet many struggle to think of themselves in these terms. This can often hamper development and growth and many miss out on funding as they cannot see past the 'business' badge. Come along to one of these networking lunches in the Western Isles and see if HISEZ can help marry a social purpose with a business mindset and to help tackle any further burning issues your social enterprise has.

Monday 25 May 12-2.30pm
Bays Community Centre, Isle of Harris, HS3 3EA

Book your place here.

Tuesday 26 May 11am-1.30pm
Third Sector Hebrides, 30 Francis Street, Stornoway, HS1 2ND

Book your place here.


Just Enterprise Workshops 


Social Impact Measurement - Thursday 23 April 10am-4pm - Inverness
In a time of decreased funding and resources it is vital that your organisation can prove its social impact and the value it adds to society. This full day workshop provides an overview of social impact measurement and associated tools and techniques, including:

  • Social Accounting and Audit
  • Social Return on Investment
  • Other recent developments and methodologies

Although heavily subsidised through Just Enterprise, please note there is a £50 delegate fee payable for attendance at this workshop. To book your place click on this link.

Places for workshops are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis so please book early to guarantee your place. Most workshops are free of charge for members/staff of third sector organisations.

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.

Women's Enterprise Scotland Conference 12/13 May 

‘Shifting Gears’ is an international conference to be hosted by Women’s Enterprise Scotland in Glasgow on 12 and 13 May, 2015. It will be the first event of its kind in Scotland.

A range of global speakers will challenge perceptions, provoke fresh thinking and highlight examples of best practice from around the world. Those insights will examine why female self-employment and business formation are a critical driver for economic growth; review the benefits for wellbeing, communities and families and the potential to reduce the burden on the public purse.

To find out more and to book your place click here.
Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year (or an average of £350,000 a year over two years).

It is for projects seeking investment of between £5,000 and £50,000 for projects lasting up to two years. We are looking for small and local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people. By small, we mean just a small group of people on an estate, in a few streets or villages.

We're also looking for great ideas from communities of interest. By this we mean a group of people who have things in common and wish to come together to address something that is important to them. These ideas could be based in one neighbourhood, or cover a wider area.

We run a two stage application process over a six week period that begins with a short online form. There's step by step guidance to help you along the way but if you need any support, please call us on 020 7697 4021 or email us at:

The closing date for enquiries from the Highlands and Islands is Wednesday 29 April 2015.


Glendale is the most Westerly area of Skye and is home to Neist Point with its lighthouse and unusual shore-line rock formations, the flat topped mountains known as MacLeod's Tables and the famous Three Chimneys Restaurant. But despite this impressive list of attractions the majority of young people move away from the area after finishing school and there are few job prospects to attract young people and families to the area. 

The Glendale Trust was formed in 2007 in recognition of this and to help bring about the area's regeneration. Soon after the group secured funding to employ a development officer who would work up a sustainable community growth plan for the area based on the needs and wishes of the community.

One of the first large scale projects for the group is the preservation and development of Meanish pier and slipway which lies at the heart of Glendale at Meanish point. This is seen as an important potential growth area for community use and economic development. The community took ownership of the facility from the Highland Council in 2014. Plans for this project include renewal of the slipway, deep water moorings, heritage interpretation boards, seating, a toilet and shower block and improved parking. The next stage is the development of a business plan to help take this forward and HISEZ has been working with the Trust on this. 

Another ambitious project which compliments the Meanish Pier development is the essential Borrodale School project. The Trust has very recently purchased the school from the Highland Council after it closed down in 2010. The building will be used to provide affordable housing, a bunkhouse with a bar/restaurant, a heritage exhibition, a children's play area and a community laundrette.

Recognising the importance of digital infrastructure the Trust are also leading a North Skye broadband project which aims to provide superfast broadband connectivity for the whole north end of Skye. A regular farmers market, community transport project, and IT and Broadband workshops are also on the Trust's agenda.

Local Development Officer with the Glendale Trust Elgar Finlay said: "Our community's regeneration will not happen overnight but we are making good progress. Although we are at a stage of requesting funding to progress our plans we have every hope that we can make these sustainable in the not too distant future and be able to generate an income and to create jobs. These are our key drivers."
To find out more about the Glendale Trust and their plans, see their website.

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