Founder and CEO of The Circle, Kirsty Thomson, has been granted a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Kirsty joins around 29,000 worldwide fellows including such prestigious members as Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie and Dame Judi Dench.
Kirsty Thomson, Founder and CEO of The Circle, has been featured in the NatWest WISE100 list. This list, produced every year by NatWest Bank in partnership with Pioneers Post, recognises the 100 most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise. Kirsty was the only woman in Tayside to be named on this list.
This came just two days after The Circle was named Social Impact Business of The Year at the Courier Business Awards. Kirsty has worked with and for charities, social enterprises and community groups for the past 20 years. In her career she has raised over £13 million for the organisations she has worked for.
The Circle has won ‘The Courier Social Impact Business of the Year 2018 Award’ less than two years after it was launched by Kirsty Thomson, Founder & CEO.
The Awards Ceremony & Dinner at the Apex City Quay Dundee was a great opportunity for The Circle team to celebrate the judging panel’s recognition and reflect on their achievements. The evening was a wonderful occasion and The Circle were delighted to bring a trophy back to Staffa Place, however, it is the impact we have demonstrated that we are most proud of.
Four social entrepreneurs will be pitching for their share of a £20k grant through the Resilient Communities Awards programme. As well as the pitching event, there will be a range of free events open to the prospective grant recipients and the general public.
Run in partnership with UnLtd Scotland, these events are taking place over Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th September at The Circle Dundee on Staffa Place. Attendees will hear from entrepreneurs about their journeys and watch the pitching event. There are also free spaces to learn how to improve pitching skills, find out about the benefits of adopting a growth mindset and hear from members of The Big Lottery Scotland team.
Kirsty Thomson, Founder & CEO of The Circle, said, “We are grateful to UnLtd for partnering with us to provide this opportunity to social entrepreneurs to gain access to a share of £20,000 to support their own development. It is clear to support social enterprise we have to invest in the entrepreneurs behind them. By working with experienced facilitators we will be making sure that the pitchers are well-prepared and are pleased that the public can also benefit from these sessions.”
More information about the Resilient Communities Dundee Awards programme of events can be found at: https://thecircledundee.org.uk/2018/08/24/resilient-communities-dundee-awards-events-2018-19/
Being recognised for doing a good job is always rewarding. It makes your efforts ( read: screaming internally whenever the bell/phone/door/sanity goes) feel worthwhile! So when we, The Circle, were recognised as “Highly Commended” at the recent prestigious Courier Business Awards it served as a real milestone of just how far we’ve come.
Days fly past at an incredible rate where you’re left scratching your head wondering where the hours have gone. Only in hindsight can we recognise the great work that has been done, and continues to be done by the whole team at The Circle. This award has cemented that thought, by being something tangible in the form of a formal recognition. We can actually look at it and know that we’re going in the right direction. Who knows where that direction will take us next.
The award not only reflects the hard work of Kirsty, Nicola and myself and of course our fantastic board of Directors Euan, Ali, Mike, Jo and Pete. It really belongs to all of us… The volunteers who, day to day keep this place running. Manning the reception, cleaning the corridors, kitchens and toilets. Delivering the mail and just overall bringing life to the building. It also belongs to the remarkable family of tenants we’re so lucky to have here. Without them and the incredible work they do, The Circle just wouldn’t be The Circle. The tremendous combined effort of everyone has paid off, coming full “Circle”. This is exactly what we’ve set out to do, and we’ve proven it – that working together, from individuals to organisations – breeds success.
Looking to the future we want to continue to build on that success. We’re still keen to recruit more volunteers for various roles from marketing to gardening. We’re open to using the building for great ideas to serve the community. We’re also looking to secure more venue bookings for local and national charities, social enterprises as well as corporate businesses – so get in touch!
For enquires about anything please email email@example.com who will direct your query to the relevant people!
Kirsty Thomson, founder and CEO at The Circle Dundee, is one of 5 people from across Scotland who has been given an ‘Grow It ’ award from Unltd Scotland.
“I am delighted to be recognised for my work over the last 2 years setting up the Circle Dundee and thank you to the Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers for all their support on this journey”.
The Grow It Award is for social entrepreneurs looking to scale their venture providing tailored support, access to workshops and networks, and up to £15,000 cash. The application process was an online application and a pitch to a national panel in Edinburgh in May 2017.
This was part of the June funding round and there are three rounds per year. Here is a list of the winners
Kirsty Thomson, Founder and CEO of Circle Scotland CIC (Dundee) https://thecircledundee.org.uk
Colin Hinds of Cooking up a Storm (Edinburgh) http://www.kiltedlobster.com/cooking-up-a-storm.html
Hazel Smith of Re-Tweed (Eyemouth) https://www.retweed.com/
Jean Rooney of Feel the Warmth (Lanarkshire) https://www.facebook.com/FTWarmth/
Anita Reilly of Justice Brand (Edinburgh) http://thejusticebrand.com/
Kirsty had spotted a problem many of her clients were facing and an opportunity to solve it, so The Circle was born. Kirsty embarked on negotiating a lease on a mostly abandoned industrial building, a former Government training centre. Her eye for potential saw a community hub that could provide office space, meeting rooms and co-working space for charities, social enterprises and businesses with room for a café and gardens. With initial feasibility funding in the bag, Kirsty has begun recruiting tenants and building a Board of Directors to support the project. With 15 offices, five meeting rooms and two co-working spaces, no venue of this type or scale currently exists in the area, and as far as we know, in Scotland.
The Circle can offer innovative training and employment opportunities. They will work to strengthen collaboration, partnership-working and connectivity to the wider community. As a result of piloting the space for the past year or so they have seen an increase in the number of volunteers involved with their work and the work of tenants. The tenants are ACK, Ashton McGill, Apex Scotland, Food Training, Prestige Health and Safety Training, Rathbone, The Story Edge, Lumilo Casting Studio and Cornerstone and Uppertunity. They have a number of tenants lined up to move in the coming months.
With 20 years of work in the sector under her belt, she is using her energy and skills to help organisations thrive. Specifically, she is helping them meet their social goals by transforming their business functions: marketing, events, fundraising, strategy and planning. By helping organisations think in a more business-like way, they are more likely to rise to financial and regulatory challenges and continue their important work. She is also working hard to make sure that the work of the 3rd sector is appropriately recognised by those in Government, the local authority and in business and that social enterprises are properly understood.
The Circle Dundee is a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses in Dundee. They provide affordable offices, co-working and community space. By bringing organisations together, they are promoting collaboration and fostering innovation that does social good in the city. For more information contact Kirsty Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07756 471334. https://thecircledundee.org.uk
UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs – people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better. Unltd do this by providing a complete package of funding and support for individuals to make their ideas a reality. Our mission is to reach out and unleash the energies of people who can transform the world in which they live.
We are part of a rapidly growing movement in the UK and globally towards a more entrepreneurial approach to careers, life and social benefit. As the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs and the largest such network in the world, UnLtd resources over 1,000 individuals in the UK each year through our core Awards programmes, which in turn impact many thousands more
We work with passionate, imaginative and innovative people with very different backgrounds, aspirations and skills. By designing products that can meet the needs of individuals, tailored to critical stages in their journeys, we provide flexible, personal support to build their confidence, commitment and contacts. This support gives them the freedom to innovate and deliver impact where it matters most – in the real world.