Annual awards launched to recognise social enterprise excellence in Northern Ireland

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The Northern Ireland Social Enterprise Awards, in partnership with Go Succeed are back for 2024. The annual awards led by Social Enterprise Northern Ireland recognise and celebrate the remarkable achievements and positive contributions of social enterprises across the region.

Applications are now open, and organisations are encouraged to enter before the deadline of midnight, Sunday 7th of July, to showcase their impact and key achievements in the last year.

The prestigious Awards shines the light on the talented individuals, teams and organisations who are making a real difference, changing lives, building inclusive communities, and making a positive impact in society, all while making a profit through their respective business. With a wide range of Award categories, they offer the opportunity to highlight success, gain local recognition and enhance credibility.

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2024 Award Categories: Best New Start Up; Best Use of Social Media; Community Wealth Building; Consumer Facing Social Enterprise; Cooperative; Council; Credit Union - Assets up to £25 million; Credit Union - Assets over £25 million; Emerging Leader; Leader of the Year; Outstanding Team Award; Product Based Social Enterprise (New); Rural Social Enterprise of the Year; Social Enterprise of the Year - up to 500k turnover; Social Enterprise of the Year - over 500k turnover; Social Impact Award; Social Value Partnership and Young Person.

Courtesy of Social Enterprise Northern IrelandCourtesy of Social Enterprise Northern Ireland
Courtesy of Social Enterprise Northern Ireland

The 2024 headline Awards sponsor Go Succeed, is the new go-to business support service that helps local entrepreneurs and businesses including Social Enterprises across Northern Ireland to start, grow and scale their businesses. Delivered by Northern Ireland's eleven local councils, Go Succeed offers a huge range of support, from masterclasses, online workshops and help accessing grant funding to one-to-one mentoring, peer networking and beyond, all free of charge.

Mayor of Derry City & Strabane, Councillor Patricia Logue said: “Go Succeed is delighted to partner with Social Enterprise NI for their annual sectoral Awards this year. All eleven Councils have worked in collaboration with SENI over many years to support the growth of the Social Enterprise sector and this new partnership further strengthens that relationship

“Through Go Succeed, we are privileged to work with a range of Social Enterprises to take their organisation to the next level and can’t wait to hear from others as we aim to help entrepreneurs and businesses across all sectors realise their ambitions.”

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Colin Jess, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Northern Ireland said: “Our annual awards are a fantastic celebration of the impact and innovation of the social enterprise sector in Northern Ireland. Submit your application now for the chance to recognise the incredible hard work and contributions of your team. Last year we had record-breaking entries and look forward to another successful year.”

“Entrants will complete applications using an online portal, allowing them to edit, amend and review their entry before submitting. Entry is free and open to all social enterprises operating in Northern Ireland.”

Economy Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “The innovation and vibrancy of the social enterprise sector is one that should excite and inspire us. It is a sector I am committed to and focused on.

“Indeed, I am pleased that my Department has recently awarded SENI a grant agreement to partner with us to deliver a renewed and enhanced Social Enterprise Work Programme, including an increase of more than 50% in grant funding for the current financial year, reflecting the value and importance of the sector.

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“The Northern Ireland Social Enterprise Awards are an important opportunity to showcase and recognise the quality of talent in this diverse sector and I encourage social enterprises across the north to submit an entry.”

Winner of Social Enterprise of the Year last year, John McLean OBE, Chief Executive of Radius Housing said: “Winning this key accolade provided invaluable recognition of our team’s hard work, not just locally but nationally. We are on an exciting journey to enhance our service offering and to be as sustainable as possible. I strongly encourage everyone to enter and maximise this opportunity to gain recognition and credibility.”

Winners of the 2024 Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony on Friday 8th November compered by radio presenter and Social Enterprise Northern Ireland ambassador Cate Conway. Guests should expect an entertaining evening, filled with inspiration and excitement.