SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ALLIANCE MIDLOTHIAN (SEAM)
There is a growing awareness of the value and benefits of social enterprise although there is a long way to go before the term is well understood. There are, nevertheless, agencies here in Midlothian who will support you. These include:
MVA: who can help with a wide range of issues including constitutions, structures, funding and training.
The Business Gateway: can assist with all the commercial aspects of your enterprise from start-up through to growth, including advice, consultancy support in some cases, funding advice and access to loan funding. Advisers can assist with a wide range of practical information to help you move into self employment or to further develop your enterprise. Workshops are available to suit your business needs. The Growth Club for existing businesses with aspirations to grow is attracting increasing numbers of businesses, providing quarterly meetings with relevant speakers and offering the opportunity to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
Midlothian Council Economic Development: can offer free entry in the Council’s online business directory for Midlothian businesses, and help with identification of suitable premises, business rates and regulations, human resource issues and contracting opportunities with the public sector. Economic Development advisers can also help to steer you in the right direction if you need planning permission, licence or need to comply with other local authority regulations such as environmental health, trading standards, etc. Staff provide regular bulletins of information about events, changes in regulation and supports available for local businesses from a wide range of sources.
Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce: Offers a range of services to new and existing social enterprises and the chance to network with mainstream businesses. Social enterprises might be particularly interested in the group mentoring programme. Discounted rates are available for members of SEAM so contact us if you wish to join.
McSence: Is a social enterprise based in Mayfield which offers flexible premises for start-up and growing enterprises with scope for networking and mentoring from McSence and some of the other social enterprises which use its space.