Social Enterprise Training

28 Mar 2013 Roisin Kelly    Last updated: 8 Jul 2014

Have you thought about setting up a social enterprise? Have you heard people talking about the social economy and wondered ‘what is that?’ If you have, then NICVA’s training in social enterprise support might be for you.

NICVA offers an ILM level 5 Certificate in Social Enterprise Support, with a new course starting on 9 April. There are still a few places available and we are delighted to offer a 50% bursary for this programme reducing the cost to £250 for NICVA members and £350 for non-members.

In January this year 25 people from 15 voluntary and community organisations participated in NICVA’s first Social Enterprise Support programme. This programme was developed by NICVA in response to the needs expressed by participants in the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme. NICVA found that a large number of organisations were actively pursuing social enterprise activity but still needed to find out more about all that was involved such as finance, governance and business planning.

NICVA worked to develop a programme that covered all aspects of understanding, developing and promoting social enterprise, including sessions on charities and trading, finance for social enterprises, support available through networks and steps to business planning. The programme was delivered by NICVA, UCIT, LEDCOM and Social Enterprise NI and included masterclasses with social enterprises such as Compass and Sector Matters.

Feedback from the programme was excellent and one participant from HURT commented “This programme provided very good information on potential businesses, scope and potential financial pitfalls”. The manager from Focus on Family added “This programme has given me the framework to develop work plans/project ideas with staff team and start to develop social enterprise ideas with collaborative partners.”

When NICVA followed up with participants two months on from the end of the programme they found that many of them have started to actively pursue their social enterprise ideas; Causeway Women’s Aid are looking at starting a jewellery making business, Rehability is considering opening a mobile food unit in local area, and the Orange Community Network is looking at developing a tourism project. Many of them have linked into other agencies for help and support such as the Social Entrepreneurship Programme and their local enterprise agency.

For more information go to or contact Roisin Kelly [email protected]'s picture
by Roisin Kelly

Skills Development Coordinator

[email protected]

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