The voice for Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. Connecting, supporting, developing and sustaining vibrant businesses to create social change.


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Social Value Conference 2019

Social Value: How can it be properly implemented?

This conference is aimed at the following:
·         Procurement Managers
·         Commissioners
·         Government Departments
·         Private & Public Sector Organisations
·         Social Enterprises who are keen to secure public tender contracts

Northern Ireland is the only region within the UK that does not hold legislation to compel commissioners to include a weighting for Social Value within procurement contracts.  In a time were budgets are overstretched and accountability for public spending is at an all-time high, the need for Social Value legisalation is key to making the public pound go further.   This year we are delighted to bring to you a range of speakers including Jonathan Bland, E3M and Julian Blake, Stone & King LLB to talk about their own experiences in being involved in public procurement contracts and innovation partnerships and how using current EU rules that Social Value can be implemented into current procurement contracts without a need for legisation.  Please read their bios below.

Other speakers at this years conference include Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary, Department of Finance will be attending and speaking on "The Importance of Social Enterprise in the wider Economy".

We will also be focusing on our own members and we will hear from Tara Mullan, Refuge Hot Chocolate in our Members Spotlight Section.

Our conference is well known now for our Dragons Den Pitches, Again this year we are grateful to UCIT for their kind sponsorship of our Dragons Den event at our Confernce. We will hear from last years winner Jude Henderson, OutsideIN.

We will also hear from our Chair, John McMullan on his recent visit to the Philipines.

We have two Keynote Speakers this year our first is:

Mr Jonathan Bland, Managing Director, Social Business International. 

  • Jonathan, the founder of SBI, is an international expert on social enterprise with over 30 years of working in this field. 

  • Since 1998 he has been a leader in the UK social enterprise movement bringing together a diverse range of people and organisations under the umbrella of social enterprise. First as Executive Director of Social Enterprise London and then as CEO of the Social Enterprise Coalition (now Social Enterprise UK).

  •  Jonathan helped the British Government to create a highly innovative policy framework for social enterprise and supported the development of some major programmes in the field of public service innovation, enterprise and employment. He campaigned successfully to win widespread cross-party political support for this type of business. 

Julian Blake, Social Enterprise & Business; Charity; and Public Services.

  • Julian has specialised, for over 30 years, in social enterprise, charity, responsible business and the integration of social purpose and sustainable operation, as a lawyer, extending into consultancy and public policy.

  • He is especially engaged with the role of mature Social Enterprise in public service delivery and innovation and the development of integrated social economy ecosystems, incorporating the progressive disciplines of: Social Finance; Social Value; and Social Impact Measurement.

  • He promotes the European Commission’s social business reform of Public Procurement and State Aid, challenging mythologies and misconceptions. He is a member of national advisory panels on social value and procurement. He advocates for community partnerships between: purpose-driven suppliers; commissioners; social investors and community organisations, as place-based initiatives, of which the social impact bond is one model.

  • Since 2012, he has worked with E3M, a group of pioneering chief executives running mature social enterprises and an associated group of “Bold” commissioners. See . He also works in partnership with the public benefit consultancy Capacity: The Public Services Lab (

  • He co-authored (with Frank Villeneuve-Smith of the major social enterprise HCT Group), the E3M supported publication, “The Art of the Possible in Public Procurement”, which is cited in the UK Government’s Civil Society Strategy and Local Government Association and sectoral guidance and which has been promoted in across the UK and in Europe.

  • Julian has also promoted the Innovation Partnership model, introduced, in 2015, into the procurement regulations to promote societal purposes and in 2018 he worked with Leicestershire County Council and Oldham Borough Council on the first two UK examples.

  • Having previously co-led the Social Enterprise and Charity team and led Public Service Sector Groups at Bates Wells Braithwaite, Julian joined the national public benefit firm, Stone King, on 1 May.

As you can see we have a packed agenda for this years Conference. and we would love to see as many people from our sector and from the Private and Public Sectors attending.

To Book use the attached booking form and return to
Members - £50 per person
Non-Member - £75 per person

Marketplace Stalls - £50