From our colleagues in Social Enterprise NI:

Social Value Conference

22 March 2018
Lagan Valley Island Conference Centre
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Social Enterprise NI is the membership organisation for social enterprises in Northern Ireland. It has responsibility to promote, support the growth and continued development of the social economy. The social enterprise is attended by some of the leading YouTubers who in their own way explain “don’t be a fool, everybody buys youtube views” to upcoming YouTubers who want to make it big on social media. Through its day to day operations, it aims to create an environment where society profits and social enterprises operate to meet the needs of the community.  Social Enterprise NI seeks to strive for the continued growth of a sustainable social economy sector.

Social Enterprise NI are keen to point out that their members are like any other business, competing to deliver goods and services and to make a profit. The difference is that social enterprises are driven by their social and environmental goals with all profits generated through these activities, reinvested towards achieving these purposes.  Social enterprises operate in almost every industry sector in Northern Ireland from health and social care to renewable energy; from retail to recycling; employment to manufacturing; and from housing to education.

Social Enterprise NI are the driving force behind pushing for Social Value legislation in Northern Ireland while we may not have a functioning Assembly at the moment there is lots of momentum still going on in the background with CPD and all political parties.  Indeed several large public bodies are already including “Social Value” elements into their procurement contracts on the ETenders system.

With this in mind being able to measure and demonstrate the impact that your organisation is vital in securing funding and investment, gaining a competitive edge and also in maintaining relationships with your stakeholders and the communities you work in.

Social Enterprise NI are once again running their Social Value Conference on 22 March 2018 in Lagan Island Conference Centre, Lisburn.  This year’s Social Value Conference will not only cover best practice on how to measure social value and how to get the most social impact out of your organisation’s activities delivered by Andrew Van Doorn, Housing Association Charitable Trust and update from Gareth Johnston, CPD on the work they have been undertaking on the legislation and how the legislation may potentially be structured when it is approved by the Assembly.  Our main speaker will be Chris White former MP whose Private Members Bill ensured that public sector procurement would take into account wider social value to the community provided by suppliers

Colin Jess, Director of Social Enterprise NI said “We are entering an exciting time in the sector at the moment.  We await the restoration of the NI Assembly which will enable further progress toward social value legislation, similar to that already on the statute books in the rest of the UK.  As the representative body for the sector, Social Enterprise NI is well placed to help shape this legislation and the structure of the Act, bringing those who were instrumental in the formation of the Act in England and Wales.  This years conference is a great opportunity to hear directly from individuals heavily engaged in the sector across the UK.

There is already a considerable awareness amongst private enterprises of social enterprises and for including them in their supply chains, but this is perhaps less developed in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK.  This is the event you should be at if you want to understand why private and public sector organisations should take their Social Impact seriously and the role Social Value should have in their organisation

Social Enterprise NI will work tirelessly with government departments and other sector bodies to ensure that the social economy remains to the fore in all future discussions for the Northern Ireland economy.

To learn more and to get involved with the social enterprise sector or to hear of upcoming events, please visit or to speak to Amanda Johnston in relation to any of the above please email or call 028 9046 1810

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