Get on board to hear from inspiring social enterprises across Northern Ireland this October and November as the Belfast City Council Social Enterprise & Cooperative ‘Go Social’ programme takes you on a virtual bus tour!
Join us on our regional networking journey across Northern Ireland to meet up with social enterprises in Belfast, Derry City, Newry & Mourne and Lisburn & Castlereagh to learn, build networks and collaborate together.
The bus will be making 4 ‘stops’ along the way kicking off in Belfast on Thursday 14thOctober where you will have the opportunity to hear from 3 social enterprises on how they have continued to innovate through COVID and you will also find out about how you can be in with the chance to secure up to £10,000 from the Belfast City Council ‘Go Social Incentive Fund’ open to
Go Social participants that have fully participated in the programme since 2016.
We were delighted to welcome a full bus at our first three destinations of Belfast, Derry & Strabane and Newry, Mourne & Down : ) so hop on for our final virtual visit:
Destination Four: Lisburn & Castlereagh Thur 18th November 10:30 – 12:00
Stopping at Employers for Childcare: High Rise and The Resurgam Trust to hear about starting diverse social enterprise ventures
Our autumn of networking continues with a cross border virtual visit to Spraoi agus Spórt to hear how the organisation grew from a Parent & Toddler Group to securing €9.5m to support community regeneration
Book your virtual ticket here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/go-social-best-practice-virtual-visit-spraoi-agus-sport-tickets-203694685287
Courier Co-ops: an alternative to workers exploitation. Why? Because they have working conditions, fair pay and concerns for the community at their core.
Meeting with York Collective, a new Courier Co-op, founder member Matt will tell us about this not-for-profit worker-owned cooperative of cycle couriers in York.
Formed as a response to the gig-economy, and unaccountable multinational corporations. They do not see themselves as just another number, we want to develop valuable and long-term relationships with York businesses and customers.
My oh my, what a box of goodies!
Our friends at Storybox NI are excited to share that the 'Kids box' is now live & available to order!
Featuring three fantastic social enterprise, all of whom were supported via Work West : )
Best brownies in the world recipe kit - Refuge Chocolate
Grow your own herb garden - Science Starz
Little WayMaker adjustable apron - WayMaker Child Therapy
A fun activity/gift idea with 100% social value behind it! This box has been brought together to encourage little ones to get creative through baking some yummy brownies or by putting together their very own herb garden which they can see grow and eventually be used in some of their parent or guardian’s cooking. These kits are accompanied with a Little Waymaker adjustable apron to help keep clothes nice and clean through those hands on activities!
A fun and worthwhile pastime sorted for some of those rainy days during summer!
All goods within this box have been sourced from social enterprises based in Northern Ireland.
Find out more: bit.ly/3rTMIrp
Having worked to support new start social enterprise in the Ards & North Down area for over 20 years the Work West team are excited to continue our partnership with Ards & North Down Borough Council to deliver the ANDSEP programme 2021-23.
Fully funded by Ards & North Down Borough Council the programme offers a flexible programme of mentoring support to social enterprises in the borough complemented by a series of group workshops.
So, if you are and existing social enterprise but need some support to develop or if you have an idea for a new social enterprise, the ANDSEP Programme is here to help.
Contact email@example.com to find out more.
In case you missed it - Saturday 02nd July was International Day of Cooperatives. We are fortunate to work with two great organisations in our day to day work in supporting cooperatives; Cooperative Alternatives and Trademark Belfast.
Both organisations are crucial partners in our work supporting the social enterprise and cooperative sector in Northern Ireland.
Co-operatives are best placed to create fair and just employment, address the roots of the climate crisis and build resilient communities for the future. To find out more you can check out the video from the Rebuild Better Together Conference held on the 1st July 2021 to mark International Day of Co-operatives - exploring co-operative responses to current economic and social challenges. youtu.be/56Dng0L5m8E Happy International Co-ops Day! #CoopsDayIRL
We are delighted to see our colleague Stephen McGarry be recognised on the 2020 SEUK Roll of Honour at the Social Enterprise Futures event.
Stephen has been an integral part of the Work West team since 2002 supporting new start and growing social enterprise with great skill, expert knowledge and understanding of the sector.
Stephen's work was celebrated along with all the others on the Social Enterprise Roll of Honour, by a session hosted by actor, comedian and director, Chris Addison. The Roll of Honour acknowledges those individuals and businesses which, over the course of an extremely challenging year. Over 400 nominations were received from those within the social enterprise sector as well as supporters of the sector.
For more details and to see the entire Roll of Honour click on the image opposite.
Work West were delighted to welcome Laura Barbero Switalski to Northern Ireland for the first time for a 2-day workshop in Creative Problem Solving workshop.
At Work West we have trained hundreds of educators, professionals and Students over the past four years through our Design Thinking workshops, promoting break-through innovations and developing creative problem-solving skills.
Laura, a leading trainer, facilitator and coach from Darwin Associates, Buffalo, New York facilitated the group of enterprise, education and impact focused organisations to develop their skills as we continue to support the development of innovation and creative problem-solving skills.
Visit our Design Thinking page for more on our work in this field.
Stephen McGarry from Work West with the support of Belfast City Council officially launched the new Social Enterprise and Cooperative Support Programme at a recent social enterprise breakfast at City Hall.
Speaking at the event were two inspirational social entrepreneurs that shared their journey and indicated the improtance of mentoring in that crucial start up phase.
If you are starting or growing your social business or cooperative find out how we can help by calling 028 90610826 or visit http://belfastcity.gov.uk/business/businessinformation/Social-economy.aspx
Four Community Innovators Programme groups were awarded seed fund support at a special reception hosted at Queen’s University Belfast on 4 September 2019.
Having particiapted in the programme to develop innovative solutions to real world health and social care challenges, the successful projects were;
A fresh cycle of our unique Community Innovators Programme, delivered in partnership with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, is now open for applications. The Community Innovators programme is free to access and is for voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations who would like support to explore and develop new solutions to a real world social, economic or environmental challenge.
Click for more information on the programme and our scheduled information sessions.
Work West recently celebrated the end of a successful three year delivery of the Belfast City Council ‘Go Social’ programme supporting new start social enterprises and cooperatives in Belfast, with a showcasing event. An enthusiastic audience filled the vault at the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub to hear about the programme achievements from Councillor Carole Howard from Belfast City Council and were inspired by three amazing speakers from Usel, Angel Eyes and Brewgooder (the world’s first clean water beer) outlining their own unique social enterprise journeys.
We are incredibly proud of what we have delivered with a brilliant team of highly skilled and committed trainers and mentors. Four years ago the board at Work West started to invest in developing a model that would support third sector organisations to develop new solutions to long-standing challenges. Our thinc methodology combines design thinking and creative problem solving approaches and facilitates organisations to think creatively in terms of designing new products and services. With our third sector lagging behind in terms of digital transformation which is impacting upon our ability to be competitive and deliver services there is no time like the present to support organisations to shift their thinking patterns and reimagine new approaches to service delivery.
Work West Enterprise Agency
Planning your social enterprise - An introduction to business planning.
Delivered by social enterprise business advisor Stephen McGarry with ...
Save the date to look forward to what is always an amazing night celebrating Social Enterprise across Northern Ireland.