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02 Oct 2015

The Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century BC) – in his account of the Greco Persian wars – pays special tribute to the brave young Spartans at Thermopylae - who held the Gates for four days against the Persian army.  First though, under the disbelieving eyes of Xerxes himself – these Greek soldiers sprawled uncaring outside the ramparts – combing and combing their long hair. When the Persian commander demanded the meaning of this display, he was told ‘when these young men are about the leave their lives, they first make their heads beautiful’.


            I was reminded of this story by the rugby world cup on TV just now! – brutal gladiatorial combat.  ‘Everyone thinks they have a plan – until they get a punch in the mouth’, that was the first half of Scotland’s encounter with the USA.  So ferocious is some of the tackling these days that serious injury is inevitable; to limbs, to joints – more worryingly, spinal and brain damage.  And yet, each of the sickening ‘hits’ that goes in – is met with gasps of admiration from the commentators.


            The All Blacks, consistently the best rugby team in the world, start each game with a traditional Maori Haka; this centuries old, ancestral war cry, expresses perfectly the game's deeper purpose – symbolic warfare.  Living alongside the countless thousands, who traverse Europe to escape from war zones – we are thankful, that where we live, has learned to channel destructive impulses.  International rugby is a social institution which offers a relatively harmless outlet for our human addiction to violent conquest.  I just wish it was less violent.



The gap continues to widen between what London and Scotland consider to be a social enterprise.  London moves towards a ‘social sector’, embracing a range of ‘hybrid’ organisations – which can include private profit.  Practice in...Read more

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

Visit the new website here

The SENs: Friday 2nd October 2015

Bookings for this year’s SE Conference and Ceilidh have been coming in fast – approaching 100 delegates so far – with space for another 30/40. The programme is just about finalised and we are now inviting applications for this year’s Dragons’ Den. Closing date for application is Friday 23rd October. As always, £5k prize money will be available to the winner. There will also be crowdfunding for our audience prize. The event is again at the Westerwood Hotel, near Cumbernauld, on 12th/13th November. If you would like to book your place, see bookings.


As part of its ‘Buy the Good Stuff’ campaign, Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network’s blue monster ‘Doogie Goodstuff’ has been appearing on the doors of its members across the city to help potential customers spot social enterprises. ESEN has now launched a 90 second film aimed at the public to help them understand what it means when they spot ‘Doogie’.

See video.


Glasgow SEN launched their own report this week - a follow up to the earlier 2013 version, showing further growth in the sector despite the challenging economic backdrop. The city now plays host to 704 SEs, an increase of 195 since 2013; employing 19,014 staff compared to 10,412 in 2013; with a combined annual income of £881m, up from £767m. See more.


Edinburgh SEN also launched their report last week...Read more
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SENSCOT Contact Details:
43 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 1HW | Tel: 0141 332 8084 | Fax: 0141 331 0749
21 Walker Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HX | Tel: 0131 220 4104 | Fax: 0131 539 9999 | E-mail:
Registered at above address in Edinburgh,Scotland.
Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210