Local community groups and individuals are being encouraged to apply for a social enterprise awards scheme.
The Housing Executive has recently launched the second round of its Social Housing Enterprise Investments awards, with a £500,000 fund.
This innovative programme is aimed at developing economically vibrant and self-sustaining communities through the creation and development of social housing enterprises.
The Housing Executive is seeking applications from new social enterprises and existing social enterprises which are keen to expand.
A diverse range of projects benefited from the first round of the scheme, which opened last year, including: an alterations business in Sandy Row, a micro-homes idea for young professionals, the expansion of a kids’ party business in Strabane, a digital studio in Derry-Londonderry and, an upcycling shop in Fermanagh.
Housing Executive Head of Communities Jennifer Hawthorne said:
“We hope that communities take advantage of this opportunity to apply to us for funding. The 34 awards in the 2015 round have already brought about tangible changes within the successful communities and, with awards ranging from £1,000 up to £ 50,000 available, there are real opportunities for local people to create something which could bring about lasting benefits to their community.
“Even where an individual or community organisation has an idea which is new and innovative but not yet fully developed, we do encourage them to contact us. In addition to ourselves, there are a number of organisations with whom we are collaborating who could help bring that idea to reality.
“If you want to see the difference we have made in communities across NI then check out our film on https://youtu.be/zInBYfPsVBQ .”
Applications are now available online at http://bit.ly/29qfYOB
The scheme will remain open to applications until 22 August 2016, with phased awards being made in November 2016.
Applications for small grants (up to £1000) are open all year round, these include education, training and business start-up grants.
The Social Investments Team is now ready provide advice and guidance on the Scheme, and is looking forward to hearing from you. Contact them on 02890 318333 or email [email protected]