Living Wage Employers welcome Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills to celebrate ‘Making Dundee a Living Wage City’

Dundee’s most recently accredited Living Wage employers gathered at Social Enterprise ‘The Circle’ today to host a visit from Jamie Hepburn, the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills.  

Mr. Hepburn met with staff from The Circle alongside representatives from Coldside Medical Practice, cleaning company Star Clean, vegan café Marwick’s, mental health charity Feeling Strong and arts charity Creative Dundee.

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SE100 logo

We have been named one of top 100 UK Social Enterprises!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been named on the NatWest SE100 Index alongside social enterprises such as Hey Girls, Divine Chocolate and Clean for Good.

The list celebrates the growth, impact and resilience of social ventures in the UK – by naming the most impressive 100 social enterprises of the year in the Index and giving seven SE100 Social Business Awards for the most outstanding achievers.

This news is especially exciting since our founder and CEO, Kirsty Thomson, was listed on NatWest’s WISE100 – a list that recognises the 100 most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise – in 2018.

Kirsty says she and the rest of The Circle team are thrilled to be featured on the SE100,

“We are absolutely delighted to have been named on this list among so many amazing social enterprises from across the UK. It is terrific to be recognised for the work we have been doing over the past 2 years to create a positive social impact.”

The Circle Cafe

The National Lottery to fund training café at The Circle

The Circle is opening a training café at its Staffa Place premises. The café will train young people to work in the café and offer employment. We have joined forces with Barnardo’s Works, Dundee City Council and Leisure and Culture Dundee to apply to the Community Lottery Fund for funding to start-up this innovative project. Designed to support the needs of looked after young people and care leavers, the café will employ a Café Manager, Supervisor and several Café and Events Assistants. The Manager and Supervisor positions have been funded by The National Lottery Community Fund Young Start.

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Kirsty points to her name on the WISE 100 list

Our CEO was featured on the NatWest WISE100 list

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.

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The Circle team at the Courier Business Awards

Celebrating our social impact at the Courier Business Awards

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.

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Social Entrepreneurs pitch for a share of £20k

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/

The “Highly Commended” Circle

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.

DNQehkDXkAIHiuoLooking 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 reception@thecircledundee.org.uk who will direct your query to the relevant people!

 

Kirsty selected for Saltire Fellowship Programme

Kirsty Thomson, Founder and CEO of ACK and The Circle Dundee, is one of 18 people from across Scotland who will take part in this year’s Saltire Fellowship Programme through Entrepreneurial Scotland.
Designed and delivered in partnership with Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts, the Saltire Fellowship Programme will offer individuals access to a world-class executive leadership development programme with an experiential dimension.
The programme is short, sharp and intense. It is experiential, not theoretical; taught largely by very successful business people who provide pragmatic teaching shaped through their real-world business experience. The core programme is delivered over six months in Scotland and the USA and it will cover Sales, Marketing & Markets, Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance, Business Strategy and Leadership.
Whilst at Babson, Fellows will be immersed into the Boston ecosystem with weekly company visits. Fellows will then travel to Silicon Valley for a week-long learning journey.
Upon return to Scotland, company sponsored Fellows will reintegrate into their organisations while open enrolment Fellows will begin working with their hosts for three months on a growth/change project. A second learning module delivered by Strathclyde Business School will take place in January in Scotland.
This year Scottish Government have part funded two social enterprises to take part in the fellowship this year Kirsty Thomson – ACK/The Circle and Christine (Tynah) Matembe – Passion 4 Fusion.
Will Tyler-Greig, Head of Social Enterprise at the Scottish Government, said:
“Social entrepreneurs like Kirsty harness the power of business to improve communities right across Scotland, reinvesting profits into a social or environmental mission.  As part of Scotland’s new 10-year social enterprise strategy, the Scottish Government is delighted to support Kirsty, founder of ACK and The Circle Dundee, allowing her to participate in this world-class leadership and development programme.”
Dr. Claudia Cavalluzzo, Head of Saltire Fellowship Programme Entrepreneurial Scotland said:
 “By supporting Kirsty to enrol on the programme, both ACK and the Circle will grow and this will create a ripple effect of inspiration and support for Social Enterprise communities nationally.”
Kirsty said:
“I am delighted to be recognised for my work. A massive thank you to Scottish Government for the funding to represent Social Enterprise. Also thank you to The Northwood Charitable Trust for their support, to the Board of Directors of both companies, staff and volunteers who are supporting me on this journey”.