Belfast high street and city hall

Increasing growth and productivity in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister has outlined how social enterprises will play a starring role in growing the nation’s economy.

This comes alongside an announcement that Social Enterprise Northern Ireland has successfully secured a grant to deliver the government’s Social Enterprise Work Programme between 2024 and 2027. The grant will see £230,000 committed to the project, which is a funding increase of more than 50%.

Social Enterprise Northern Ireland (SENI) is the representative body for all social enterprises across Northern Ireland, helping to connect and support businesses that are working for social change. Economy Minister Conor Murphy spoke about the work SENI will do, saying:

“SENI will implement an ambitious work program with several objectives that aim to support and grow the sector and individual Social Enterprises within it. This uplift in funding will provide additional resources to help social enterprises become even more effective and take advantage of emerging local and global opportunities.”

As Murphy looks to drive economic growth, he has also identified the importance of further productivity and innovation. At the end of March, the Minister met with representatives of Innovate NI, which works alongside local councils, education providers and businesses to increase innovation around the country.

Northern ireland economy quote

Expanding on the importance of innovation as productivity helps to drive the economy, Murphy said:

“I have identified the need to increase productivity as one of my strategic priorities. There is a clear link between innovation and productivity. I want to see more of our home-grown businesses innovating and ultimately become more productive. Innovate NI is a great means for guiding any business on their innovation journey, no matter if they are a start-up or mature business, in tech, tourism or retail.

“A little guidance can go a long way to ensure that businesses can create commercial value out of their ideas. The support landscape can be difficult to navigate with businesses not knowing where best to get support. Innovate NI can provide that signposting, advice, and support for businesses all across the north.”


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