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The social economy in Northern Ireland

The social enterprise economy in Northern Ireland is an increasingly well-established and diverse sector. It creates opportunities and training for people who are often marginalised in society. The social economy is expected to play an increasing role in reducing unemployment in Northern Ireland.

Figures released by the Department for the Economy (DfE) in 2013 show that there are almost 500 social enterprises in Northern Ireland, generating an annual turnover of approximately £600 million. Over 12,000 people are employed in the Northern Ireland social economy, with a further 13,000 volunteers.

The top three goals of social enterprises in Northern Ireland are to:

  • Enhance community
  • Assist people into employment
  • Improve the environment

The top three social enterprise purpose is:

  • Community development
  • Education and training
  • The arts

One of Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprises is the Bryson Charitable Group. Bryson focus on community care and environmental care - read more about the work of Bryson.

The Department for the Economy provide more information on the social economy in Northern Ireland.