There is plenty going on this month, starting this week with the annual SCVO Gathering
of social enterprises, charities and voluntary organisations which takes place in Glasgow on Wednesday and Thursday. The theme this year is 'Celebrating Charities' and there will be free workshops and training opportunities as well as over 100 exhibitors so there will be lots of produce on display. But if you are looking for somewhere closer to home to display some of your social enterprise goods then the RBS branch on Harbour Road, Inverness, is the place for you. Every Friday a cart is made available to small local businesses to display and sell their goods - what a great idea. And maybe something which will catch on with the rural branches too. Get in touch with email@example.com
or phone Allan on 01463 256557 to book your slot.
And still on the subject of opportunities for retail producers, Social Investment Scotland in partnership with Asda, have just announced a fantastic opportunity for social enterprises - read all about their Supplier Development Academy below.
We have already told you about the new Catalyst course which is open to social entrepreneurs - this is a reminder that the closing date is fast approaching so don't miss out on the opportunity of free training which can be accessed anywhere in the Highlands and Islands.
Highland Council has just announced a new flood fund for any household, business or community group that was affected internally by the recent floods. See if you are eligible to apply here
HISEZ FREE Networking Lunch
Community-led Care - Thursday 9 March 12-2.30pm
Centre for Health Science, Inverness
Join HISEZ and invited guests from HIE, the NHS and social enterprise businesses for this free networking lunch in Inverness to discuss the future of community-led care. This event is particularly relevant to groups running, or looking to run projects for older people, or adults and young people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.
Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy
If your social enterprise makes a product that you can imagine flying off the shelves at Asda then this opportunity from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is for you. SIS have teamed up with Asda to offer up to 8 social enterprises a chance of a place in their supplier development academy. Funded through the proceeds of Asda's carrier bag charge, this new initiative will help the chosen enterprises strengthen their understanding of supermarket retail and refine their commercial and marketing skills. A great opportunity to access a new market. Find out more
and get your expression of interest form in before the closing date of 14 March.
Social Investment Tax Relief
If you have an interest in social investment, then you should find out more about Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). Whether you act in an advisory capacity, are looking to secure investment or are interested in investing in this space, these short workshops in Glasgow and Edinburgh will tell you all you need to know.
Hosted jointly by Social Investment Scotland and Big Society Capital, these sessions will provide insights into the possibilities of SITR.
23 February 1.45-4pm - The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh
For professional advisors or those working with clients who may benefit from SITR investment.
24 February 9.45am-12pm - The Teacher Building, St Enoch Square, Glasgow
For potential investors and investees to come together and learn about SITR and each other's requirements and aspirations.
Both workshops are free to attend and will include a panel discussion, key speakers who have first-hand experience in supporting, securing or investing using SITR, and there will be time for networking as well.
SITR is a new tax incentive introduced by the UK Government to try and 'level the playing field' between traditional businesses and social enterprises.
The Scottish EDGE Fund
Scottish EDGE is a funding competition aimed at identifying Scotland's top young, early stage and high growth potential entrepreneurs. Companies that demonstrate the most potential can win awards of up to £100,000 and access additional support for their business. Sound like your cup of tea? The next round of funding is now open so find out more
and get your application in before the closing date of Wednesday 9 March.
Catalyst is an innovative training programme aimed at small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands. It has been developed and led by CREATE, Inverness College UHI's Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, in partnership with HISEZ, Inverness Chamber of Commerce and Makar.
The programme will run between April and June 2016, either through face-to-face workshops in Inverness or by virtual delivery at scheduled times.
Catalyst will offer training and skills development focusing on key aspects suited to your business needs such as building networks, business models and effective leadership and action planning.
To find out more, and to book your place before the end of February, follow this link
First Port - Social Enterprise Workshops
Wednesday 16 March 1.30-3.30pm Inverness -
Intro - What is Social Enterprise
If you are wondering what exactly a "social enterprise" is, or you are thinking about starting one but are keen for more information, this workshop is for you.
Tuesday 10 May 10.30am-12.30pm Inverness -
If you are dedicated to doing good for others through social enterprise but aren't sure about incorporated structures, the Legal Structures workshop will help you.
Tuesday 10 May 1.30-3.30pm Inverness -
Planning & Delivery
If you have an idea for a social enterprise that you're keen to do something with but aren't sure where to start come along to this workshop.
Business support, funding & resources to help you start a social enterprise in Scotland - www.firstport.org.uk