The Circle team at the Courier Business Awards

We are launching our Social Impact Report!

The Circle will be launching our 2 year Social Impact Report on Thursday 6th December from 4pm until 6pm. 

The report will showcase the impact The Circle has had on our tenants, the local community and social entrepreneurs. This event will be the public and free to attend at our premises on Staffa Place.

The report will be available to view and download on The Circle website from 4pm on Thursday 6th December.

Kirsty Thomson Founder and CEO is delighted with the impact with the impact that The Circle has made just two years after launching.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the hard work that myself and The Circle team have put in since our launch. We have been operating for just over two years and are very proud tosee the difference that The Circle is making to individuals and organisations across the city.

This event will also give us the chance to thank everyone who has supported us in this time including ourtenants, board members, volunteers and the local community.”

Kirsty gives a masterclass at Dundee University

On Wednesday 21st November, Kirsty delivered a free masterclass at the University of Dundee’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. The Centre of Entrepreneurship host Entrepreneurial Masterclasses which offer advanced insights into the career journey of successful entrepreneurs, and also knowledge of a cutting-edge area which they have become experts in. Masterclasses complement the Enterprise Challenge programme by providing insights you can apply to your business idea drawn from the latest trends for the modern entrepreneur. The talks are open to students, staff and general public.

Kirsty Thomson is Founder CEO of ACK CIC as well as The Circle Scotland CIC.

After graduating with a degree in Social Science from University of Abertay and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from The University Sunderland. Kirsty embarked on a career research through the University of Dundee and Newcastle University which involved working across psychology, health, community development and the voluntary sector in the UK. Kirsty has worked with and for charities, social enterprises and community groups for the past 20 years.

Kirsty is working with community groups, charities and social enterprises to become better businesses and help communities thrive. She believes in doing things differently and moving away from the silos that keep sectors and structures apart. She has secured over £13 million in her career and wants to promote the #MoreThanProfitApproach to running a business.

Search now on for The Big Lunch walk team 2019

Next year in May The Big Lunch, an idea for the Eden Project made possible by the National Lottery, will bring together a team of walkers to visit and shine alight on thriving community projects right across the UK. The search is now on for eight community-minded people to take part in 2019.

The walk teams will step out on four routes starting on Friday 17th May, visiting people and communities on the countdown to The Big Lunch culminating on the weekend of 1st & 2nd June. 

Over two weeks the team will set off on a journey across Scotland, Northern Ireland,Wales and England to chit-chat with the nation and shine a light on the extraordinary things that ordinary people do to bring people together where they live.

Peter Stewart, Executive Director of The Big Lunch said: “We’re looking for friendly folk who love to bring people together as much as we do. We’re going out across the UK to celebrate the positive and amazing people at the heart of our communities; so if you’re passionate about community and fancy joining us for a stroll next May, it’s time to apply now!”

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Dundee Soup - Funded by BEMIS Scotland via Scotland’s Winter Festivals, and part of the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival.

Dundee Soup joins St Andrew’s Fair Saturday

Dundee Soup will be back at The Circle again for this year’s festive edition and this time it will particularly special because it will be part of St Andrews Fair Saturday. Fair Saturday is a Scottish Government pilot initiative for 2018 which is being delivered by the Fair Saturday Foundation. After Black Friday, thousands of artists and cultural organisations around the world get together in a unique festival and support social causes through their show and events.

This edition of Soup has been funded by BEMIS Scotland via Scotland’s Winter Festivals, and part of the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival. This is a partnership between BEMIS Scotland and the Scottish Government to facilitate diverse, multicultural celebrations.

Dundee Soup #5 will take place on Saturday 1st December 2018, from 11am – 1pm at The Circle.

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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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A Case Study by Sam Coleman of the Wise Group

Case Study – Michael Ratcliffe

I first met Michael back in April 2018. Before I’d joined the Wise Group Michael had just been through a call centre academy with us and had subsequently moved into employment. Sadly Michael didn’t take to the training that well and hadn’t received the support he needed while at work. Michael is autistic and has certain requirements while learning new information.

He wanted to do admin so we discussed his CV and where he’d like to work. I had already become rather fond of Michael and started to understand him better each time we met. He already knew how old I was, how many family members I had and indeed how old they are. We had spent a lot of time together while I worked to arrange an admin placement for him in Dundee. Michael is an absolute joy to work with and he clearly has a lot to offer.

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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/

Join our fundraising committee and have an impact on the local community

Would you like to make a difference in the community, learn new skills and gain experience that you can add to your CV, all while meeting new people?

Then joining The Circle’s volunteer fundraising committee is perfect for you! This opportunity is open to everyone, we welcome volunteers with all kinds of skills and no specific qualifications are required. You will play a key role in helping improve The Circle for tenants and the local community.

The Circle is a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses. We are looking forward to building a fundraising committee of passionate, imaginative and dedicated people to think up and plan interesting events and activities at The Circle.

As a member of our fundraising committee, you will make an important and crucial contribution to everything that The Circle stands for, as well as having the opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills, meet new people and making a huge difference in the local community. The committee will be meeting monthly to catch up and plan activities and events. We are only looking for you to commit around 6 hours of your time every month.

The fundraising committee will be responsible for organising, marketing and helping run fundraising events such as bake sales, quiz nights and craft fairs. No matter what areas you are skilled in you will have a positive impact on your local community while having some fun.

And don’t worry, you won’t be left to your own devices – Community Fundraiser, Alice, will be available to offer advice and support.

If you think this is for you then pop along to The Circle for a coffee and chat on Monday 9th July at 4:30pm.

Contact Alice on reception@thecircledundee.org.uk for more information.

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”.