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Falkirk and District Social Enterprise Network (FDSEN)

FDSEN is one of the Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) set up locally with support  from SCA member Senscot.

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to its work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) – both thematic and geographical.  SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development.

FDSEN chose to visit three social enterprises which deliver employability services.  They hoped to gain a better understanding of the pitfalls and challenges of delivering projects with an employability focus, a better understanding of developing strategies and methods of social impact measurement, along with new networking and partnership working opportunities. The visit was facilitated by Glasgow Social Enterprise Network.

Outcomes and benefits

The study trip was a resounding success both in terms of sharing experience and best practice with the organisations visited and between FDSEN members who hadn’t previously had an opportunity to get to know each other.

All three enterprises were in the early stages of adopting a social enterprise model and members learnt of the challenges they faced in establishing their organisations and moving away from grant dependency. Radiant and Brighter highlighted particular challenges of working with BME and migrant communities who may not have English as their first language.

FUSE Youth Cafe impressed with their online outcomes monitoring tool which enabled them to track the impact of all the different activities each young person participated in. In addition to providing a picture of each young person’s journey, they could also understand the impact of each activity from cooking to IT classes

Many of the FDSEN study visit participants were new members and this was the first opportunity for them to get to know each other. Positive relationships were established and the possibility of partnership working was identified by members.