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


Social Enterprise NI - Request for extension to deadline date of Business Support Schemes

The closing date for applications to be made to the individual Business Support Grant schemes being offered by the NI Executive is 20 May 2020.  As we are now only 7 days away from this date and the criteria and details of the Micro Hardship Fund are still not available, Social Enterprise NI is calling for this date to be extended for a further period. 

This fund will hopefully assist a number of small social enterprises however details of the scheme remain unknown. Additionally, many businesses in other sectors who have been able to meet the criteria are still awaiting a response to their earlier submission. An extension, we believe, is only fair considering the length of time other sectors have had to pull together their application.

Many social enterprises will remain outside any of the support schemes and still in need of vital support. We continue to call for support for such organisations who are vital in carrying out work across the NI economy, supporting and employing the most vulnerable in society.  Our recent survey highlighted that we risk losing 43% of the sector within weeks should assistance not be forthcoming.

We call upon the NI Executive to recognise social enterprises as an important business sector and to provide parity of support which other sectors have received.

Colin Jess

Director - Social Enterprise NI