Social Enterprise | Supporting Communities NI

Here at You GLOW Girl, we love highlighting organisations who make a difference in the community! Today we are talking about Supporting Communities NI who are a charitable organisation that brings focus onto the community by developing groups and offering social enterprise support to those who need it. 

What is a Social Enterprise?

A Social Enterprise is essentially a functional business that trades goods and services, however what a social enterprise does with their profits is what makes it different from private industry businesses and charities. They’re income-generated organisations, but they reinvest that profit into a charity or charitable cause like social programmes for the community. 

Who are Supporting Communities?

Supporting Communities is an organisation that offers programmes and informational courses about starting up or expanding upon an existing social enterprise. Supporting Communities delivered Level 2 OCN Social Enterprise courses to our girls in the Glow Youth Academy and on the Glow Programmes offered to women in the community. Despite the challenge of the pandemic, the girls were able to attend Zoom sessions with Supporting Communities’ trainer, Aidan.

Supporting Communities give empowerment and knowledge to individuals wanting to learn more about starting a social enterprise. They build relationships with people to help them succeed in their social enterprise achievements. 

Is GLOW a social enterprise?

GLOW is a registered charity and You Glow Girl is the social enterprise trading arm of GLOW. All merchandise is made in the YGG production room and the profits from our products are reinvested back into the GLOW mental health and self-improvement programmes for women and girls all across Northern Ireland.

What programmes does Supporting Communities offer?

Supporting Communities offer a large variety of courses, from short one-off awareness sessions that run for 20 – 30 minutes all the way up to fully accredited courses including Level 3 OCN University pathway programmes with past participants studying an advanced diploma in social enterprises at Ulster University. Depending on what stage your social enterprise is at, you can start a OCN Level 1, 2 or 3 course. 

I have an idea for a social enterprise! What’s next? How do I get support?

Supporting Communities run training programmes all over Northern Ireland to give people skills and knowledge in the social enterprise sector. This is important so you can run your social enterprise smoothly and understand the ins and outs of the business. You can get help with the financial side of things too! 

How can I get funding to start a social enterprise?

There are plenty of grants and financial support available to help you get started with a social enterprise. Your local council and Social Enterprise NI can give you helpful tips and guidance on how to fund your idea! We recommend chatting to Supporting Communities to get started on the beginning stages of your social enterprise journey.

How can I get more information?
Check out Supporting Communities on their website here! You can also catch up with Jemma and Aidan on our recent Instagram Live. They had a chat about starting your very own social enterprise and how to get funded.

Instagram: @supportingcommunities