Funded spaces available for The Circle Academy cohort 3

We are thrilled to be able to offer a limited number of funded spaces on cohort 3 of The Circle Academy for people who fit into any of these three categories:

  • Individual business owners who have found themselves on Universal Credit or low income as a result of pandemic who need support to pivot and grow sustainably in 2021
  • Individuals with additional support needs
  • Young entrepreneurs in the Dundee postcode area (Aged 16-24)
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You’ve heard of Social Enterprise but what does ‘More Than Profit’ mean?

From pay it forward schemes to eco friendly products, to cafes that employ individuals with additional needs, chances are you’ve know of a social enterprise or interacted with one in some way.

It was around 10 years ago that Toms, the shoe brand, hit high streets with their promise to give a pair of shoes for each one that was purchased. and it was the first time in my memory at least that a big brand had social impact built into their business model.

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A statement from Kirsty about COVID-19

Over the last week I have been self-isolating due a stomach bug and some flu like symptoms.

I’ve been thinking very carefully about how we should respond to the dramatic impact that the coronavirus has been having on communities across the UK.

I’m sure you have seen the news with the governments call for the closure of cafes and leisure facilities due to the horrendous pandemic that is COVID-19. Many of our tenants, as well as other charities, social enterprises and businesses are under insurmountable pressure and many will not survive.

Following UK government guidelines we will be closing the doors of The Circle temporarily from today Monday 23rd March 2020 after just over 3 years from opening our doors.

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Our new Digital Learning Producer, Alice

Last week I joined the team here at The Circle as Digital Learning Producer on an internship through The Rank Foundation’s Time to Shine programme. My role will be to assist Kara, the Academy Manager, in delivering The Circle Academy, alongside producing a digital platform for future cohorts of the Academy to use as an additional resource. 

I arrived in Dundee in August last year, and with an existing interest in social enterprise, I was keen to dive into the More Than Profit scene here in Dundee. I was delighted to discover the quantity and rich variety of socially and environmentally focused businesses and organisations creating change in the city. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time volunteering at Dundee’s first zero waste shop as well as meeting several inspiring leaders and social entrepreneurs. 

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Goodbye Nicola! A ‘few’ words on three years spent developing a start-up social enterprise

Our Business Development Officer, Nicola Donnelly, leaves us this week after three years at The Circle. She is moving on to a new role at Carolina House Trust as Marketing and Recruitment Officer. Before she left, we grabbed a ‘few’ words about her time at The Circle and what she has learned.


The first time Kirsty gave me a tour of the building that became The Circle, I was more than a little wary. It was huge, dark and very, very empty. What did compel me, was the potential. And Kirsty’s vision. To turn such a sad, sprawling centre of redundant employment training into a buoyant, bustling and productive hub for the community. The particulars changed as we tried and tested different services that would lead us to the goal but enabling people and organisations to thrive remained at the centre of our endeavors.

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Founder and CEO of The Circle enrolled in Business Accelerator Programme Scale-Up Scotland

Kirsty Thomson, Founder and CEO of local social enterprise, The Circle Dundee has recently been enrolled in the Scale-Up Scotland programme. Scale-Up Scotland is a leadership programme that is delivered through an 18-month cohort-based programme. This is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses with the potential and desire to substantially grow their businesses.  

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The Circle Café team visit Street & Arrow in Glasgow

Last week, some members of The Circle team and Alan Gunn from Dundee City Council visited Street & Arrow in Glasgow.

Street & Arrow dishes up tasty modern street food. However this social enterprise does more than just good grub, it’s also serving up second chances for its employees. Street & Arrow hires people with convictions for twelve month blocks. During that time workers are paired with a mentor who can help them master everything from basic employability skills like turning up to work on time through to debt management and relationship issues. 

Caitlin Collins, our Café Supervisor wrote the following blog post about her experience and what she feels she will benefit from visiting them:

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The Circle Café

Our Café Manager, Stephen and Café Supervisor, Caitlin were invited to attend an education and training session run by charity ‘Who Cares? Scotland’ in partnership with Community Jobs Scotland and SCVO.

Who Cares? Scotland is a national charity which was established in 1978’ with 41 years of experience working directly with Care Experienced people across Scotland. Independent advocacy is at the heart of the organisation.  They are a membership organisation with a multi-layered model who work to tackle stigma, promote positive care identity and effect positive change for Care Experienced people.

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The Circle Chit Chat at DC Thomson

DC Thomson are hosting The Circle Chit Chat on Thursday 30th May!

The Circle Chit Chat is a free and informal networking opportunity for anyone involved with a charity, social enterprise or community group. Hosted by a different organisation each time, it runs on a quarterly basis and includes short presentations on subjects of interest to those present including funding, social media skills, service design, team building and much more. There is always time to network with others and opportunities for cooperative working.

You can register for a free ticket here.

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