Rural SEN – 21st September 2023

Our fourth Rural Social Enterprise Session took place on the 21st of September and prompted some interesting discussion.

We were first joined by Jill Keegan from Scottish Community Alliance (SCA). SCA has two main functions – to promote the work of local people in their communities and to influence national policy in order to reflect the best interests of the sector.
To build levels of mutual support across the sector, SCA encourages collaboration between communities, our national networks and intermediaries. The Community Learning Exchange, which is funded by the Scottish Government, is one of the ways SCA seek to do this.

 

Next Nick from Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS), a support organisation who aim to inform, support and represent a network of development trusts, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise and encouraging mutualism and co-operation. Nick provided lots of helpful advice for non-profits and voluntary groups that rent work and community spaces.

In early October, Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) were looking to hold a roundtable discussion where they would discuss Scotland’s new Procurement Strategy 2023-2028.

In order to gather feedback and information from those working in the Sector, SES asked us to feed back to them about our network’s experience with the public procurement process and any specific concerns they may have from a rural, community-led perspective.

Some feedback included: difficulty with procurement frameworks when working with partners who are small, locally-based rural organisation, lack of procurement opportunities in certain areas and small organisation being unable to compete for procurement with larger organisations and an inability to ‘parcel procurement into smaller chunks’ to be shared amongst organisations.

 

The full notes from the session can be found here.