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Local social enterprise initiatives celebrated

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Local social enterprise initiatives celebrated thumbnailSPEAKERS and organisers at the Celebration of Social Enterprise Newry Mourne Down event in WIN Business Park, Newry.

OVER 50 social enterprises and their supporters attended a celebration of the work of the sector at WIN Business Centre.

The event was part of the Social Enterprise Newry Mourne Down programme which is an innovative programme of support helping individuals and groups explore new social enterprise ideas to help them find sustainable socially innovative solutions to local social problems.

Local Social Enterprises sell goods and services in the open market, then reinvest the money they make back into their business or the local community. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people's life chances, support communities and help the environment. So when a social enterprise profits society profits.

 Participants on the programme include those working in social farming, horticulture, craft, training, retail, childcare, catering, day-care, health & wellbeing, sport, counselling, media production, alternative therapies, yoga and meditation.

Speakers included Colin Jess, Director, Social Enterprise Northern Ireland; Cllr Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Dr Conor Patterson, CEO, Newry and Mourne Co-Operative and Enterprise Agency and Denise Cowan and Stephen McClelland, SENMD Programme.

Representing some of the social enterprises the programme has supported Jacinta Linden from SPACE NI, with bases in Newry and Kilkeel spoke about their formation and how they support people and communities. Jenna Stevenson also spoke about setting up the Made in Mourne brand based in Kilkeel, which gives an outlet for local creatives to sell their products. The enterprise took just 98 days to open, with the help of many people freely giving their time and donations.

 The Newry Mourne and Down District Council programme delivered jointly by Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency and Down Business Centre provides tailored 1-2-1 support to individuals, community groups and organisations with ideas development, market research, strategy, company setup, business planning, start-up support and levering in financial and other resources.

 The programme also facilitate co-operation and co-production to strengthen the social enterprise network across the council district through building partnerships, group mentoring and networking events.

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