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HISEZ became a Community Interest Company in this same month ten years ago. Happy anniversary to us! We could use this edition to tell you how we've grown, matured and what we have achieved but if you've been receiving our newsletter and have been working with us at any point in the last few years you will know this anyway. Instead we will do what we always do and try to provide you with some information on what's happening in the social enterprise sector that may be of interest and useful to you. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for engaging with HISEZ over the last 10 years and look forward to engaging with many more of you in the next 10. 

And it seems we are in good company. Social Enterprise Scotland also mark their 10th anniversary this year. They recently released the results from the Social Enterprise in Scotland Census 2015 which goes some way to highlight the economic and social contribution that we as social enterprises make to the Scottish economy. And especially in the Highlands and Islands with 22% of the country's social enterprises based in our patch (with only 9% of the population). For anyone that missed it, here is the link to the census results.

Another organsiation in the 10 club is the UHI CREATE Business Competition. A good idea which became reality ten years ago. They are now open for entries for this year with all the details you need below.

To celebrate turning 10 we have arranged even more FREE Autumn networking lunch dates for you in various locations - seven in total. Starting next week in North Uist (already fully booked) and concluding in Fort William in early December. And at the end of the month and beginning of next we welcome our Japanese friend Takahisa back to Inverness. This is a celebration in itself - learning and networking on a global scale! 

Our social enterprise of the month is the Ravenspoint Centre in Lewis. One of the 22% but I'm sure you will agree 100% stunning in its location.


Ullapool - Financing your Social Enterprise
Tuesday 6 October 2015 - 12-2.30pm
MacPhail Centre, Ullapool
Book your place here.

Thurso - How Healthy is your Board?  
Wednesday 28 October 12-2.30pm
Caithness Horizons, Thurso 
Book your place here.

Orkney - How Healthy is your Board? 
Thursday 29 October 12-3pm
Kirkwall & St Ola Community Centre, Kirkwall, Orkney
Book your place here.

Broadford, Skye - Financing your Social Enterprise 
Wednesday 11 November 12-3pm
Broadford Village Hall, Broadford, Isle of Skye
Book your place here.

Forres - How Healthy is your Board? 
Tuesday 24 November 12-2.30pm
Forres Area Community Trust, 1 Leask Road, Forres
Book your place here.

Fort-William - How Healthy is your Board?
8 December 12-3pm
Voluntary Action Lochaber, An Drochaid, Claggan Road, Fort William 
Book your place here.


These events are 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.

UHI CREATE Business Competition 2015 now open

Budding entrepreneurs across the north of Scotland are invited to enter the University of the Highlands and Islands Business Idea Competition 2015.
Set up by CREATE (Inverness College UHI’s Centre for Enterprise and Innovation) in association with Business Gateway Highland and Moray, the competition aims to encourage more people to think about starting their own business. It is open to anyone living or studying in the Highlands and Islands, Perthshire or Moray aged 16 or over.
In the past decade the competition has supported many students and members of the public to develop their ideas, leading to a number of entrants starting up their own business.
This year’s prize fund of £8,000 takes the competition’s total amount of start-up support to over £50,000 in ten years. It will be divided between winners to support start-up costs and further business development for either a commercial or social enterprise business. Entrants are asked to answer four questions and complete a 50 word summary of their idea.
Carol Langston, Head of CREATE, said: “We are delighted to be hosting our 10th competition in our new state of the art campus. Reaching 10 years is testament to the success of the competition, its track record in inspiring and supporting ideas and the entrepreneurial flair which exists across the Highlands and Islands. We encourage anyone with a business idea to have a go and win some of the £8000 cash prize available.”
The entry deadline is Friday 30 October and shortlisted finalists will be asked to present their ideas to a panel of expert judges on Wednesday 18 November.  That evening there will be a gala awards ceremony and buffet for participants, their friends and family and special guests. 
For further information on the competition please visit or contact Helen Miller on 01463 273267.


The Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland Engagement Fund provides grants of up to £300 (or exceptionally up to £500 for a larger event) to small voluntary organisations and community groups in Scotland to help them run an event or engagement activity with a group of five or more people.

By 2030, Fairer Scotland aims to create a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect, and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally. 

Discussions and engagement should include:

  • What are the issues that matter most to people?
  • What do people think needs to be done?
  • How can people and their community play a role in helping to shape our future?

Applications can be submitted any time from now until Monday 12 October 2015. Discussions and engagement ideally should take place before 16 October 2015. Follow this link to access the application form and guidance notes. 

If you’d like help with structuring your event, you might find the Facilitation Pack on the Fairer Scotland website useful.

A brief report and evidence of what emerged from your event / engagement must be returned to the Voluntary Action Fund no later than Friday 23 October 2015.  The report can be in a range of formats such as notes from the discussion, a video clip or photographs from flipchart sheets. 

The Herald Society Awards has been celebrating excellence and rewarding innovation across the spectrum of Scotland’s public and third sectors since 2008. The awards provide a platform to showcase projects and initiatives that offer value, innovation and best practice solutions.

The deadline for entries is Thursday September 24. There are 13 categories in total including Social Entrepreneur of the year. All entries will be judged by an expert panel and the awards will be presented at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza hotel on November 4.

Enter now for your chance to win. For more information contact Lynn Kelly on 0141 302 7410 or by email

TAKE ACTION Highlands & Islands Event
OBAN - 7 OCTOBER      
The Take Action event at Oban's Pheonix Cinema on October 7 will be a day packed full of inspirational entrepreneurial speakers from the Highlands and Islands and the winners of their recent competition will also be announced. Book your tickets to this event and find out more here.

Take Action is a 'WeAreTheFuture' Initiative to engage school students across Scotland in enterprise and entrepreneurship. This programme is supported by the Scottish Government.
Social Enterprise of the Month
Situated in the traditional Gaelic-speaking community of South Lochs on the Island of Lewis, the Ravenspoint Centre, is run by Co Chomunn na Pairc, a community cooperative established in 1978 to advance community development.  
The centre, based in the old Kershader village school currently includes an 11 bed hostel, shop, fuel service, café and, in partnership with the local historical society Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairce, a museum. Past enterprises have included fish-farming and sales of hand-knitting.

The Centre and its services have developed with the support of various bodies including HIE, The Big Lottery Fund and the Muaitheabhal Windfarm Trust.
Five people are employed at the Centre in a mix of part-time and full-time posts.  Earnings from the various elements of the business during the busier summer months help to support the core shop service for the community during the winter period.

To find out more about Ravenspoint Centre take a look at their Website or find them on Facebook

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