Newsletter - August 2016
Highlands & Islands Social Enterprise Zone - HISEZ

This month we introduce the new Chair of HISEZ - Mr David Owen. Most of you will know David as he has been involved in HISEZ since the very beginning, but as of this month, he is our new leader. David takes over from Calum Macaulay who has stepped down after 11 years at the helm. We would like to thank Calum very much for all his hard work, taking HISEZ to where it is now. We are happy to say Calum will remain on the Board but takes a welcome back seat after many years of progress and change. We welcome David as Chair and look forward to working with him in the years to come.

We've added another networking lunch date to our growing list -  Helmsdale in October. But we have postponed our Lairg event for now following some local feedback. We will reinstate this to our calendar of events later on in the year.  

HISEZ Networking Lunches
Thurso - Tuesday 23 August 12.30-3pm 
Business Planning & Finance - Caithness Horizons, High Street, Thurso

Isle of Skye - Wednesday 14 September 12.30-3pm
Business Planning & Finance - Skye & Lochalsh CVO, Tigh Lisigarry, Bridge Road, Portree

Glenmoriston - Thursday 29 September 12.30-3pm
Intellectual Property Rights - West Glenmoriston Hub, Dalchreichart Primary School, Dalchreichart

Helmsdale - Tuesday 25 October 12.30-3pm
Promoting your Social Enterprise - Timespan, Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale

Our networking lunches as always are brought to you in association with Just Enterprise, the Scottish Government programme of support for social enterprises. Find out everything you need to know about the programme on their website. 

Social Enterprise Academy Workshops
The Social Enterprise Academy have launched an extensive programme of learning and development workshops and events for the Autumn. These take place at various locations throughout Scotland. From 'Growing your Skills, Widening your Horizons' in Inverness on 8 September; 'Developing Social Enterprise Ventures' in South Uist on 20 Sep; and 'Pre-Start Leadership in Fort-William on 3 November.  See their full programme and what else they can offer on the website.
£2 million Project Fund Now Open
Applications to the £2 million Children, Young People and Families and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Project Fund are now open.  The Scottish Government has made project funding available to the third sector to support preventative work with children, young people and families.  The project fund covers two years from April 2017 to March 2019 and will focus on projects that:
  • Promote parenting and family skills
  • Contribute to reducing the educational attainment gap
  • Improve life chances for looked after children
  • Improve the safety of children and young people

Find out more and apply today.

Social Firms Europe Conference
Representatives of social enterprises, non-governmental organisations, umbrella organisations and public institutions from all over Europe are invited to the 29th Annual Conference of Social Firms Europe. This year it is devoted to social economy and mental health issues and takes place in Lodz (Poland) on 22-23 September 2016.

The conference will provide an invaluable opportunity for European social entrepreneurs and NGOs active in the field of social economy to share and exchange professional knowledge and experience and show the social impact of social enterprises focusing on the integration of people with mental health problems. Participants will also discuss the challenges that the social firm sector is facing and look together for solutions of the common issues that arise when creating valuable workplaces for vulnerable people.

For more information and to register your place follow this link.

Social Investment Support for Boards
For most charities and social enterprise, the decision to explore the opportunities afforded by social investment take place at Board meetings, most commonly held on a weekday evening. With that in mind Social Investment Scotland (SIS) are offering two opportunities for Board Trustees and Directors who want to understand more about the potential for social investment within their organisation.

  • Sign up to one of two 90 minute evening information events to be held in the offices of SIS in Edinburgh. On Thursday 20 October and Thursday 17 November from 6.30-8pm. To reserve your place at either event, please email
  • If you’re unable to join the event in Edinburgh, then get in touch with SIS to book a personal ‘Skype’ session as part of your Board meeting, based where you are. By prior arrangement, SIS will make available an Investment Manager to participate in a virtual session within your Board meeting and respond to questions and queries as they relate to your charity or social enterprise.  Lasting up 30 minutes, these sessions are a great way to start the conversation. To book a personal skype session as part of your Board meeting get in touch by email:

Scottish Edge Funding - Round 9
Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent. Britain’s biggest business competition, Scottish EDGE, is offering Scotland’s entrepreneurial businesses the chance to pitch for up to £150,000 in funding and support. As of 1 August, businesses are able to apply for the competition’s ninth round, with a total prize fund of £1.3 million available.

Applications to Scottish EDGE round nine will be accepted through the competition website until September 7th, 2016 at 2pm, requiring an application form and a short video pitch. Applications will then be assessed by a number of independent, expert panels before being shortlisted to participate in a Scottish EDGE semi-final or the final of our subsidiary competition categories, the Higgs EDGE, Wild Card EDGE or Young EDGE. Prizes of up to £150,000 will be awarded at a full day pitching event in mid-December.

Highlands and Islands Business Accelerator 
The virtual entrepreneurial accelerator programme was launched this month by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Entrepreneurial Spark, powered by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), to deliver the pilot programme.

The pilot accelerator is primarily aimed at supporting pre-start and young business ventures, but is also open to more mature businesses looking to kick start growth. The three-month pilot will take place between September and December.

Entrepreneurs will have access to a suite of ten online modules on key business topics. They will also be connected with mentors who will provide specialist advice. Find out more.

Highlands & Islands Enterprise Workshops
Check out the HIE events page to see the range of free workshops they have coming up over the next couple of months including -  An Introduction to Social Media; Doing Business in Ireland; Developing a Social Media Strategy; Build your own Business Website and many more, taking place in locations throughout the Highlands and Islands.  


Demystifying the Web - Ness Horizons, Inverness


HISEZ is the support and development agency for current and emerging social enterprises in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.  


HISEZ will support the networking and education of entrepreneurs, new and established, throughout the Highlands and Islands by offering a number of services from January 2016. Interested? Our website has all the information. 

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