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Social economy

  • Join our social economy directory

    We are inviting organisations in Belfast’s social economy sector to join our social economy register.  We want to help Belfast’s social economy sector grow. We need to hear from you to make sure our support is aligned to your needs.

    By registering your organisation, you will help us:

    • map the sector’s needs
    • identify areas where support is needed
    • shape any future provision we offer

    To register your organisation as a social enterprise or co-operative in Belfast, complete our online form:

    Register as a social economy organisation in Belfast (link opens in a new window)

    Our social economy directory

    View the directory of social economy organisations currently registered.

    • Registered social economy organisations
      Organisation name Address Overview and social impact
      An Droichead Ltd. 20 Cooke Street, Belfast, BT7 2EP An Droichead was founded in 1992 with the aim of guaranteeing the future of the Irish language in south and east Belfast through the provision of a range of Irish language services and activities for the community. An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family and community services, and outreach work. Focusing in particular on our immediate area of inner city south Belfast and our urban hinterland of greater south and east Belfast, the aim of An Droichead is to build the largest and most diverse community of Irish speakers in Ireland.
      Another World Belfast Unit 15 Connswater Shopping Centre, 115 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast, BT5 5LP Since Nov 2017 we have run "The Love Pack". We provide toiletries and underwear to groups and charities across Belfast. We have provided over 150k items to date. Since August 2021, We have run The Rag Trade, currently awaiting premises. We provide clothing on a donation or trade basis depending on circumstances. We accept good quality adult clothing to trade for similar items. Alternatively £10 donation per item. We provide clothing free to charities and service users on specific days.
      Argyle Business Centre Argyle Business Centre, Unit 8 Reception Block, 39 North Howard Street, Belfast, BT13 2AP Argyle Business Centre has been in operation for around 34 years, originally with 32 business units and offices. With two further expansions (the most being 2022) we now have 54 diverse businesses, full occupancy and a constantly growing waiting list. Our aim is to build the diversity and self sustainability of social economy markets by investing in well managed, ambitious and financially sound social investment projects, enabling business and community enterprises to work more effectively to address the needs of our community.
      ArtsEkta Glendinning House,6 Murray Street, Belfast, BT1 6DN ArtsEkta is a cultural organisation working to develop intercultural relationships at the heart of the community. We produce Belfast Mela, one of NI's largest festivals bringing together music, dance, arts and; food from across the world to celebrate our city's cultural diversity. This year we reached an audience of 60,000 representing over 20 cultures. ArtsEkta delivers workshops in music, dance and visual arts to connect cultures and create employment opportunities for ethnic minority communities.
      AuSome GrowSome CIC 25 Colinglen Road, Dunmurry, BT17 0LR AuSome GrowSome CIC is a hydroponics-based centre to grow Greens and microgreens and provide training opportunities for marginalised individuals. It aims to address both business and social issues through 1) sustainable cultivation of green produce through hydroponics all year round and 2) provide training and employment opportunities to young adults on the autism spectrum and associated difficulties.
      Barrypay Clarke and Co Accountants, 53 Andersonstown Road, Belfast, BT11 9AG Direct Payments Payroll for disabled people and their families. Charity payroll, small business payroll.
      Belfast City Centre Chaplaincy Ltd. Newtownards Road Methodist Church Hall, Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1AF

      Belfast City Centre Chaplaincy Ltd provides:

      • Accommodation for over 100 homeless people every year.
      • An Employability Service which places into work around 120 people who were long-term unemployed.
      • An Educational Support Service to school children aged 4 to 11 years.
      • 7 retail shops selling pre-owned furniture and household items at affordable prices.
      • A Community Cafe supplying nutritious meals at affordable prices, also addressing social isolation.
      • Approximately 2,000 home delivered;Meals on Wheels; in East Belfast annually.
      Belfast Cohousing Cooperative MHOS Unit 8 Ground And First Floor North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GG Belfast Cohousing Cooperative has been acknowledged by Belfast City Councillors that they have met as offering an innovative, progressive and valuable housing model, influenced NIHE strategy for older people and DfC housing supply strategy, put cohousing on the local and regional map as a potential housing model, creating waves within housing in Belfast and throughout NI, raising awareness of cohousing as a community led, and socially responsive model to apply to other communities too.
      Belfast FM Ltd Room 12 2nd Floor Merrion Business Centre,58 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6PJ Belfast 89FM combats social exclusion and isolation by providing our listeners, particularly those over 55, with companionship and making connections while serving as a platform for participation in the wider community. The station continues to build a strong relationship with civic society and in particular, Belfast City Council. Belfast 89FM places great store on continuing to develop the skills of its volunteers and continuing to enhance its links with the local community.
      Bremar Training CIC 27 Clonard Crescent, Belfast, BT13 2QN Bremar Training deliver a range of programmes in the area of mental and emotional health and wellbeing. We also offer a Counselling service and Consultancy particularly in the area of social care. We are now an approved centre for the Institute of Leadership and; Management (ILM). Our aim is to deliver quality training to help community groups, sports clubs and associations, education sector and corporate organisations in the area of Mental Health and Wellbeing and support the public.
      Creative Exchange Artist Studios Unit B2 Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1HE Creative Exchange have supported the artistic careers of over 200 artists by providing space where artists can develop their practice, create relationships with arts professionals and feel inspired to create new work. Many of our members work with key demographics of people across the country enriching innovation and creativity through a range of artist-initiated projects. Given sustained support, we believe the creative community has the ability to break down cultural and social barriers.
      Cromac Regeneration Initiative CRI Building 165-169 Donegall Pass, Belfast, BT7 1DT The Initiative is a Community Interest Company that was formed in partnership with MDA and Lorag. The three main purposes of the Initiative was firstly, to establish a joint project which gives the three communities the opportunity to work together and to provide tangible and visible evidence of building good relations and sharing of what was contested space. Secondly, to establish a social enterprise that generates a sustainable source of income for the three communities. Thirdly, to improve services in three disadvantaged areas.
      Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative Limited North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GG Drumlin operates a community fund to support educational programmes on renewables and community energy.
      East Belfast Enterprise 68-72 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1GW East Belfast Enterprise (EBE) is an enterprise agency and charity trading in east Belfast, providing support to individuals and small businesses, primarily in the pre-start and start-up stages of the business life cycle. The company provides office accommodation, industrial units, the Foundry co-working space and can offer clients a business address and virtual office services. In addition to property accommodation, the company delivers training and advice through a range of services designed to assist people to enter self-employment.
      East Belfast Mission East Belfast Mission, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1AF We are a community regeneration charity based in East Belfast. We have a homeless hostel, a tenancy support team, a Community Led Housing Project, an employability project, a young persons project, a counselling service, an Irish language project, a café and charity shops. Hosford Community Enterprise will offer training and work experience to people who have been homeless in maintenance, decorating and cleaning.
      Empatheyes Ltd 385 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DG Empatheyes vision is to make the world accessible using virtual reality to demonstrate the impact of visual impairment. Our purpose is to make organisations aware of the effects having a visual impairment has on individuals and on their colleagues, carers and families using a Virtual Reality Visual Impairment Simulator. This groundbreaking technology will impact in Health and Social Care, Education, Medtech and Life Sciences (Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Orthoptists and Allied Health Professionals).
      Footprints Daycare Footprints Womens Centre, 84A Colinmill, Dunmurry, BT17 0AR Footprints Daycare was established 1n 1997, one of the first social economies. Operating in the Colin area, employs 17 local women and is the areas largest employer. It provides 68 childcare places daily from 7.30am to 6pm, 49 weeks of the year to support women access employment and training opportunities and being locally based allows women without transport to access. It provides role models for women as entrepreneurs and is used as an example of a successful model in much research and case studies.
      Fourthspring Inter Community Group Fourthspring Inter Community Group, 373 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DG After school provision drawing children from 6 primary schools, all year round; Moving up moving on working with two local schools with 650 pupils between them; family support for 30 families; youthwork both centre based and detached more than 800 connections a year; art club, tea dance, autism awareness group, drama group.
      Good to Grow Co-op Unit 9 North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GG Good to Grow is a ground up organisation. As a horticultural consultancy we strive to keep within sustainable guidelines, embracing community growth and inclusion and evolving and; developing as we build our membership. We also offer social and therapeutic horticulture, community events, expert advice and educational outreach - all of which communicates our social impact and spreads the environmentally-friendly word.
      Hypnolifework 137C Upper Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT10 0LH Our organisation helps society with its mental, emotional and physical health. We help heal the whole person by using techniques to stop the side affects of anxiety, depression and anger. we educate society on the awareness of visualisation and manifestation with the use of holistic therapies or hypnotherapy.
      In This Together Unit 10 East Belfast Network Centre, 55 Templemore Avenue, Belfast, BT5 4FG In This Together is a Social Supermarket and wrap around support services catering to residents of East and South Belfast who are experiencing financial hardships or social isolation. We provide access to our social supermarket and support on a tiered basis to anyone who needs a helping hand.
      Indian Community Centre 86 Clifton Street, Belfast, BT13 1AB Indian Community Centre, Belfast is a voluntary organisation and a registered charity promoting integration of the Indian diaspora in Northern Ireland and creating awareness of the Indian culture. Set up in 1981 and located on the Clifton Street, we are proactively engaged in many community development and outreach programmes.
      Inspire Professional Services Lombard House, 10-20 Lombard Street, Belfast, BT1 1RD The right support, at the right time. Inspire’s Therapeutic and Wellbeing Services provide a range of wellbeing support services, training and interventions that help organisations, employees and students to thrive. Life happens, and when it does people need support. This is where Inspire can step in to help design and deliver the right mental health and wellbeing support in partnership with our customers. Our services include counselling via an EAP, critical incident support, training, digital wellbeing and specialist interventions.
      Kith and Kin Financial Wellbeing CIC Northern Ireland Council For Voluntary Action, Ground - 2nd Floor Nicva,61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB We provide Financial Wellbeing Programmes in the Workplace and in the Community to help improve the financial capability of people so they can improve their personal financial situation, Money and Mental Health are linked so by improving the Financial knowledge of people you also improve their mental Wellbeing.
      Lagan SSDAB Limited Rooms 4-5 2nd Floor Merrion Business Centre, 58 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6PJ Lagan SSDAB is the community owned Small Scale DAB Mux for Greater Belfast, jointly owned by Belfast community radio stations (Belfast89, Blast106, Juice 1038 and Sunshine1049). We enable community stations to broadcast on DAB for the first time but have additional capacity allowing new community services to broadcast for a small carriage fee. The surplus is used to develop community media through training opportunities, support community groups promote themselves on-air and promote Media Literacy.
      Lamb Films Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road, Belfast, BT9 1NH Lamb Films is an Independent Film Company from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Larry Cowan set up Lamb Films in 2007 to provide a platform for local talent and to create a community of filmmakers. 
      Ligoniel Improvement Association 1 The Wolfhill Centre, 148 Ligoniel Road, Belfast, BT14 8DT LCE are working to address the social and economic needs of the local community. We firmly believe that community economic development, which we are actively trying to promote, is a vital element in the creation of a sustainable and regenerated neighbourhood.
      Parenting Focus First Floor, Unit 3, Hawthorn Office Park, 39a Stockman's Way, Belfast, BT9 7ET Parenting Focus is the leading charity for parenting support in Northern Ireland, with over 44 years’ experience in providing a diverse range of effective, needs-led support services focusing on improving the lives of children, young people and our parents and wider family network. Parenting Focus firmly believes that the best and most effective way of supporting children is by supporting and educating those who parent them. Our fundamental objective, by developing and offering programmes of assistance, is to advance the support and education opportunities for parents and to promote the physical, emotional, and mental health wellbeing of their children. With a focus on prevention and early intervention, our team work tirelessly in collaboration with parents who access the services to help shape the support we provide. We recognise the challenges that parents face, and hear daily from parents struggling with concerns around mental health, finances, aggressive behaviours, school refusal, technology, teenagers and separation or relationship breakdown. Parenting Focus places great emphasis on engaging parents and listening to their needs so that they can adapt and tailor services that are appropriate and are delivered at a time and in a way that suits parents, and their changing circumstances. Support includes our free Support Line (0808 8010 722), online resources and parenting programmes.
      Puddleducks Day Nursery (Part of Belfast Central Mission) Belfast Central Mission, Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast, BT12 5AD Our social economy business forms a minority of our wider delivery, and is centred on childcare services and Other services by BCM. Community Services provided inc befriending and clubs. Supported Housing for young adults leaving care. Housing Support for Young People and Housing Support for Older People (55+). Therapeutic Counselling for vulnerable young people. Residential Accommodation for Older People Parents Support Projects and Christmas Support Programme +Volunteering.
      Quaker Care Ltd Quaker Service, 541 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GQ Quaker Care is the trading arm of Quaker Service, which is a family welfare charity providing support for people in Northern Ireland going through difficult times. Our work is with those in our society who are the most forgotten, unpopular, or those viewed as undeserving. Our concern is that justice, fairness, and opportunity are not experienced equally by everyone in our community. Our vision is of a community in which each individual is valued, their voice heard, and their need addressed.
      Refuge Chocolate Refuge Hot Chocolate, Unit 14a,288 Beersbridge Road, Belfast, BT5 5DX Refuge Chocolate is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Refuge exists to help give people a brighter future through our support of Flourish NI (a Northern Ireland based anti human trafficking charity). Refuge donates proceeds to Flourish and raises awareness about modern slavery.
      Springfield Charitable Association Ltd 28 Clonard Crescent, Belfast, BT13 2QN Springfield Charitable Association (SCA) is a charitable social enterprise providing services for the community in West Belfast, and beyond, since its establishment in 1980 by a group of local residents in the Clonard area. It was set up at the height of the Troubles, in this area of high deprivation, with the aim of improving the quality of life and the health and well-being of the residents of the community. Since then, SCA has gradually expanded the services it offers and currently offers services in three main areas: day centre, an advice service and SCA social enterprises, specifically a charity shop, hereinafter referred to as the retail outlet, and the Health Hub. A core element of the last is the hydrotherapy pool.
      Storybox NI CIC Unit A6 Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1HE Storybox NI, a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Northern Ireland, is passionate about helping both corporations and everyday consumers make better product choices. Through curated gift boxes and Products with Purpose, we support local businesses, artists, and social enterprises, fostering economic growth and championing mental health initiatives. Our commitment to sustainability further empowers customers to make conscious choices. Join us in using purchasing power for good.
      TechDesk C.I.C A1/4 Conway Mill, 5-7 Conway Street, Belfast, BT13 2DE We deliver social impact by assisting and allowing other groups to maintain their I.T systems, Emails, Website and phones etc. By keeping other groups compliant and operational we assist them in providing their much needed services to the users that they support. We assist them in digital strategies and providing heavily discounted, free and donated hardware to people and families in the community that might be disadvantaged by not having access to a computer.
      TREECO 301-303 Donegall Road, Belfast, BT12 5NB Tre-Eco is a social enterprise which seeks to regenerate and improve the environment whilst increasing pride and connectedness. It aims to support volunteers with training and confidence building skills to enable them to be more attractive to future employers.
      VIEWdigital 68-72 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1GW We cover issues that have a major effect on society and get readers talking about them. VIEW readers are interested in topical social issues and we as journalists are motivated to provide interesting social affairs stories to inform our readers. VIEW magazine is printed and distributed free to libraries and we also organise events to promote discussion and debate on issues raised by our journalism. Read social affairs journalism in VIEW magazine and on the website.
      Wee Chick's Womens Tec, 29 Chichester Avenue, Belfast, BT15 5EH Our vision is that every child should grow up active, healthier and happier. To empower families by building stronger minds for a healthier future.Our Mission;Working in collaboration with other organisations, our mission is to break down the barriers of childcare. To empower parents and children, providing high quality, affordable childcare services with a focus on positive mental health and support. Thus enabling us to build strong minds, for a healthier future!
      Work West Unit 2 Work West Enterprise Centre,301 Glen Road, Belfast, BT11 8BU Work West is an award winning social enterprise providing support to new start and growing businesses. Through the provision of high quality workspace and office accommodation along with providing dedicated business support to help your venture start and grow. A specialist provider of support to social enterprises through fully funded programmes of support we also offer a unique Social Innovation solution using FourSight and Creative Problem Solving methodology.
      Womens Tec 29 Chichester Avenue, Belfast, BT15 5EH WOMEN’STEC are Northern Ireland's largest quality provider of training for women in non-traditional skills. Through their services and a range of different programmes, they seek to reduce the barriers which either prevent, or make it difficult for women and girls to participated in education, training and employment. They engage with women and girls of all ages and courses include carpentry and joinery, car mechanics, I.T, electrics, plumbing, painting and decorating and bricklaying, amongst others.
      You Glow Girl City Life Centre, 143 Northumberland Street, Belfast, BT13 2JF As an inter-generational, cross community organisation, GLOW challenges the status quo in order to break the vicious cycle of these issues by equipping women and young girls with tools and techniques to build their confidence, self-esteem, resilience and life skills. This will help them set positive, realistic steps in achieving their goals, enabling them to live happy fulfilled lives.
      GLOW believes that all women and girls have purpose and so our unique programmes create a positive atmosphere and allow the opportunity for women and girls to discover their true selves. This has a knock on effect as participants can positively impact on their family and community, especially in setting young female family members up with confidence and life skills to have a successful future.
  • Social enterprise and co-operative support

    We can help you when setting up a new social enterprise or co-operative.

    Through our tailored support, you’ll get:

    • advice on legal issues
    • best practice visits
    • business planning
    • help to explore and secure finance
    • help to generate ideas
    • networking opportunities
    • peer to peer learning
    • sales and marketing coaching
    • support choosing the right governance structure
    • tailored workshops

    If you’re an individual or group interested in starting a social enterprise or co-operative, or an organisation which currently relies on funding and you want to explore moving to a social enterprise or co-operative model, call us on 028 9027 0482 for more information. 

    Register your interest online

  • Social economy video

    Watch this one-minute seven-second video which explains the concept of social economy and how social economy businesses use their profits to deliver social good and real social impact.

  • Edenderry Village Energy co-operative

    Ronan from Edenderry Village Co-operative explains how they benefitted from our social economy support in this one-minute 34-second video.

Contact us

For more information and advice, get in touch.

028 9027 0482

Economic Development, 4th floor, 9 Adelaide, 9-21 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8DJ

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