Representatives from local Social Enterprises have been given the opportunity to meet local Elected Members as well as Council officials to raise awareness of the many Social Enterprises’ trading opportunities across the Borough.
The ‘Meet and Greet your local Council’ event was held in The Braid, Ballymena Town Hall Museum and Arts Centre and was organised by Social Enterprise NI in conjunction with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council with the Social Enterprises representatives learning about the procurement processes of the Council.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said: “Council and its legacy Councils have a proven track record in the establishment and growth of many of the Social Enterprises operating across the Borough.
“We do this through such initiatives as the Enabling Scheme, invested £2.65m to support the development of 12 social enterprises which have created a total of 533 local jobs.
“Council continues to promote support available and use our partnership approach with organisations such as Invest NI, Social Enterprise NI, the Social Enterprise Hub @ Ecos and the local Enterprise Agencies to deliver the key objectives of growing our economy, building strong, safe and healthy communities which makes for a better future for us all,” she said.
Social enterprises in essence are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, life chances or the environment. Social Enterprise NI is the representative body for such organisations across Northern Ireland.
They raise funding from selling goods and services in the open market but reinvest their profits back into business or community.
The event was well supported by the local Social Enterprises themselves with Council officers providing practical support to the organisations on how to procure for Council contracts.