Peer 2 Peer Consultancy

Out of the Blue Peer 2 Peer Learning consultancy

“On behalf of the entire group of Korean entrepreneurs, I’d like to thank you again for making yourself available (twice a day !!) for the group, telling your story and sharing your experience. Despite the language barrier, they were enormously impressed by your hard work to make lives better for artists and various communities.

We hope the entrepreneurs you’ve inspired will make positive changes in Korea and inspire others, too.”

Hyunjung Oh, Director Education and Society, British Council Korea, 12th Sep 2016


Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust (OOTB) is unique by virtue of the range and scope of work undertaken under its umbrella, all of which has great social impact for individuals, groups, organisations and society. OOTB’s work is increasingly significant locally, nationally and internationally, on cultural, economic, health and environmental grounds.

OOTB is recognised as a leading Social Enterprise (with worldwide acclaim), and enjoys good relationships with Social Enterprise networks and social banks. With 25 years of history, OOTB has enjoyed sustainable growth throughout this period because of its acclaimed sustainable financial and social operating model.
In order to enable other organisations to gain from our experience of developing a sustainable business model, OOTB is offering a 3 stage ‘session and return’ learning opportunity. The sessions are aimed at participation of a few organisations (up to 4) and will enable each organisation to benefit from a focus on their particular challenges and opportunities.

The course is developed in partnership with Creative Scotland, Development Trust Association Scotland, Community Ownership Support Services and Scottish Community Alliance.

Main output for the participants – the ability to develop a sustainable business model and to start testing/implementing this model.
Main outcome for the participants – a viable business model being delivered, which is sustaining the organisation.

Session Details

The course would offer tailored support from OOTB.

Location: Each session last up to one day and will be delivered at the OOTB Drill Hall in Leith, Edinburgh.

Cost: Organisations will be asked to contribute £500 inclusive in total.

Instructor: Sessions will be delivered by Rob Hoon (OOTB Manager) with support from members drawn from the OOTB staff and Board team.

Example Session 1.

Session one will introduce participants to the principles of running a sustainable social enterprise, based on a mixed economy income model, underpinned by the effective use of primary assets.  This will be delivered through using OOTB as a case study, giving participants an insight into ‘how it is done’ in practice. Topics to be covered would include

  • History and development of OOTB
  • What is social enterprise?
  • What does it mean to be rooted in a community?
  • What partnerships and networks do you need, and how do you get them?
  • Learning from each other- (what do similar organisations do)
  • How to utilise the value of your assets (people and property)  to deliver your mission
  • Strategic planning
  • Good governance for sustainability
  • The importance of diverse income streams
  • Forecasting, finance and funding.

Learning Activities

Participants will be asked to relate the above topics back to their own context. During the second half of the day there will be an opportunity for one to one surgeries help in the production of an action plan.  All participants will be given copies of the course material in order to facilitate the cascading of their learning to their wider organisation.

Session 2.  

Session two- return session, is intended as ‘consultancy’ in which participants will be asked to present their strategic plan and financial forecast for delivering a sustainable organisation over a set period of time.  The OOTB team will act as ‘critical friends’ in order to probe the forecasts and assumptions on which the plan is based. They will also offer suggestions of next steps in a plenary session.

Session 3

An in depth session on the challenges and opportunities which have arisen from each organisations implementation of their strategic plan.  This session would aim to be a further opportunity for organisations to show what steps have been taken towards organisational development and sustainability. Further analysis from OOTB will be offered at this session.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course participants will:

  • Understand the practical day to day operation and challenges of running a social enterprise
  • Understand the importance of a mixed income profile to organisational sustainability
  • Understand how an asset can be used productively to support social and cultural objectives
  • Have reflected on the partnerships, networks, and governance required to support the sustainability of their organisation
  • Be able to develop their own sustainable business model, and created a high-level strategy for delivery
  • Be able to develop the financial forecasts and projections that show how their organisation could be sustainable
  • Be able to build networks with other organisations in Scotland similar to themselves.   
For more information, please contact 


Rob Hoon is Manager of Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust (OOTB) He has graduate and post graduate qualifications in Business Studies and Community Education.  He joined OOTB in 1999 after spending a decade working in community arts and education in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh. His role at OOTB has been organisational development utilising the tools of business and running projects of educational, economic, cultural and social impact. This has included raising significant amounts of finance to purchase and refurbish an ex army drill hall to house OOTB and working with Board and staff to develop two wholly owned trading subsidiaries; The Bongo Club and the Out of the Blue Drill Hall Cafe.

Out of the Blue’s staff and Board team have a wealth of experience in the arts, education, finance, social enterprise, regeneration, law, marketing, building management and development.

Rob Hoon

Manager ▫ Out of the Blue Arts & Education Trust Out of the Blue Drill Hall ▫ 36 Dalmeny Street ▫ Edinburgh EH6 8RG

0131 555  

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