Emma is an experienced social entrepreneur with a track record of developing sustainable enterprises and the current chair of the Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network. She has been involved in starting-up and developing a number of successful Social Enterprises starting with Furniture Recycling and Charity Shops. In 2005 Emma founded Caring Christmas Trees a social enterprise that sells Christmas trees to raise money for charity. Most recently she was Chief Executive of the Grassmarket Community Project, and steered the organisation through a significant period of change. Emma is passionate about social enterprise and loves making change happen. She is also involved as a board member of Balerno Village Trust. Emma has a wealth of experience that she loves to share – whilst she runs her own business helping Social Enterprises grow and develop she is always willing to have a coffee and a chat with anyone who needs help. In her spare time Emma is also a board member of two charities – Comfort Rwanda and Congo and the Edinburgh Food Project. She also runs half marathons and plays fiddle in a ceilidh band called Sporrandipity.
A former Social worker turned Outdoor instructor then also turned Social entrepreneur, Jonny has managed services and delivered programmes and activities that support communities, young people, families and vulnerable adults for 25 years from soup kitchens to community businesses from outdoor residentials to long term supported employment and regeneration. He has a passion for social justice, empowerment and the promotion of healthier lives. His is sector promiscuous choosing to borrow the best form the third, public and private sector and arrive at the most effective ways to fund and deliver services. In his current role as CEO of the Grassmarket Community Project Jonny supports 4 social enterprises and a dynamic programme of educational, recreational and creative activities for some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable and socially isolated.
Catherine has extensive qualifications, experience and knowledge with 25 years’ experience in the voluntary sector. Her main focus has been on mental health and wellbeing and a passion to highlight the importance of positive mental wellbeing and what we can do to keep well.
Catherine’s previous employment includes the following sectors: IT, DTP, Web Design, MH Advocacy, MH Support Worker, MH Policy and Support Officer, MH e-Health Officer. She also has a wealth of professional qualifications applicable to the sector: an Open University qualifications in Health & Social Care including Mental Health, SVQ3 in Health and Social Care, Mental Health Advocacy, Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid and experience with ASSIST.
Through experience she has also developed skills in web design and development, IT, programming, administration, social media and communications. She has basic financial, bookkeeping and administrative understanding and is furthering all business knowledge by online and face-to-face learning programmes.
Through her considerable knowledge of mental health issues, she has developed an insight into its social and economic effects on society.
Francois Du Plessi
Francois has extensive executive experience in the Telecommunications and Financial Inclusion sectors in Sub Saharan Africa. He was part of the team that launched the first mobile network in South Africa, Led the team that built the first mobile network in Rwanda, ran a payphone business in Uganda and was the architect of the first mobile money ecosystem in Zimbabwe,
Since arriving in Scotland in 2016, he has become active in the social enterprise sector, working with the Cyrenians in Edinburgh as a new business advisor and Crossing Countries as a business advisor.
He is currently active in Financial Inclusion initiatives in developing markets and serves on the boards of Crossing Countries, Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network, Chairman of Oxton Community Development (a community project to save the local village shop) and is a Councillor on the Oxton and Channelkirk Community Council in the Scottish Borders.
Elaine Brown joined The Edinburgh Remakery as the new Managing Director in December 2019. She brings with her over 25 years experience of working in various roles within Local Authorities and not-for-profit organisations. Elaine is delighted to be joining the Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network Management Committee.
She has experience in developing and delivering numerous accredited vocational training programmes during her time with Midlothian Council and the City of Edinburgh Council. She has delivered presentations and workshops on the circular economy and environmental sustainability to a wide variety of audiences including school children, businesses, staff, councillors and Local Authority Chief Executives. She has managed programmes for several high profile initiatives within the Council and Bright Green Business including; the Scottish Government programmes for The New Deal, Working for Families and Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. She is always happy to do what it takes to get things done and further, to do them to the highest standards of best professional practice. She has excellent project management skills and delivers all programmes to time and within budget.
During her time with Bright Green Business Elaine supported her team to deliver a variety of high profile events and workshops including a variety of ‘Green’ Clinics held throughout Scotland for the Bright Green Business Network, covering topics from circular economy, sustainable travel to Environmental Management Systems. Now at the Edinburgh Remakery, Elaine is driving forward the concept of Re-use and Repair through the community hub based in Leith.
Elaine hopes to bring all these skills to the ESEN Management Committee role and has particular interest in helping the network to develop routeways into Social Enterprise for young people.
Andy Jack has held a variety of development roles in the Scottish third sector over the last 18 years focusing on employability, criminal justice, mental health and housing. For the last 10 years he has worked within the Community Investment Team of the Link group of housing associations and social enterprises, developing initiatives to reduce poverty and increase opportunity.
Andy has wide-ranging experience of business development within the third sector, has worked with communities in urban and rural settings and has a proficient understanding of public sector procurement as both a buyer and a supplier. Most recently Andy has been leading the development of a Sustainability Strategy for Link which encompasses social, economic and environmental considerations.
Andy has a BA in Business Administration and an MSc in European Policy, Law and Management.
Bob is an experienced Director and Company Secretary and sits on various boards as a trustee. He’s spent over 17 years supporting SMEs to set up and grow and the last 15 years working with and supporting Communities, Social Enterprises and Charities throughout Scotland.
He’s a qualified Mechanical Engineer who spent 8 years in medical laser research before moving on to laboratory supplies which led to a management buyout. Using this business experience and gaining a Masters Degree he joined the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and managed their Business Incubator in North Edinburgh which led him down the path of working in the third sector with Firstport as Head of Business Support.
Latterly he’s worked in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh as Business Manager to the Community Alliance Trust and joined Out of the Blue as Studio Manager for their Abbeymount Studios.