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Social economy

Social Economy Incentive Fund 2023

  • Social Economy Incentive Fund Programme

    The Social Economy Incentive Fund is open to online applications from Belfast-based social enterprises and co-operatives. The fund is for new and growing social enterprises that need support at early development, start-up or early growth stages. The application process is competitive. Shortlisted organisations will be invited to pitch on 15 December 2023 to a judging panel comprising local social enterprise stakeholders.

  • Eligibility criteria to apply for an award

    To apply, an organisation must be:

    • located in Belfast City Council area.
    • trading or ready to start trading within the next three months.
    • able to demonstrate the potential impact of the fund on achieving organisation and programme aims.
    • a registered social enterprise or co-operative organisation or in the process of completing this registration.
    • committed to begin spending the fund on the project within three months of receipt of funds with all monies spent within 12 months of award.
    • has not been awarded funds in a previous round of this fund.

    There must not be any duplication of funding. 

  • Costs or activities eligible for funding

    The Social Economy Incentive Fund can only be used to grow or expand the organisation and the organisation's activities. This means additional  activities or enhancing the current offering. You cannot use this funding to sustain current operations.

    Funding can cover support including equipment to help achieve growth, set up costs, skills development and specialist mentoring support (not already provided by another programme).

  • Costs or activities not eligible for funding

    You cannot use this fund for personal electronic equipment such as iPads, laptops or mobile phones.

    This fund cannot cover existing direct or indirect costs such as rent, rates or utility bills for existing premises or staff salaries.

    This fund cannot be passed on as donations to charities or local groups.

  • Prize fund

    The minimum award that can be awarded to an organisation is £1,000.

    The maximum amount that can be awarded to an organisation is £10,000.

  • Closing date

    You must apply online by 5pm on Friday 1 December 2023.

  • Apply to Social Economy Incentive Fund

    For more information on the fund, email

    Apply to Social Economy Incentive Fund 2023 (link opens in new window)

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