Entries now open for the annual Northern Ireland Social Enterprise Awards

  • The Northern Ireland Social Enterprise Awards, now in their 11th year have officially launched for 2023 and entries are now open.

    Organised by Social Enterprise Northern Ireland, the prestigious awards celebrate the amazing work and impact of social enterprises across the region.

    The annual awards will showcase and highlight the active role that social enterprises play in building places, supporting communities, and making a positive impact on our environment and well-being.

    There are 14 categories to enter, including Social Enterprise of the Year, Emerging Leader and Best New Start-Up. Two new awards have been added this year including the Best Cross Sector Collaboration award which is open to private and public organisations to honour their collaborative work within the sector.

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    This year’s award categories are:

    • Best New Start Up
    • Best Use of Social Media
    • Community Wealth Building (NEW)
    • Consumer Facing Social Enterprise
    • Credit Union
    • Cooperative
    • Rural Social Enterprise
    • Social Impact Award
    • Social Enterprise of the Year
    • Outstanding Team
    • Young Person
    • Emerging Leader
    • Leader
    • Best Cross Sector Collaboration (NEW)

    Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Northern Ireland, Colin Jess said: “Every year, our awards celebrate the success and hard work of social enterprises in Northern Ireland and reward the most outstanding people in our sector, recognising their excellence and innovation.

    “Social enterprises play a key role in driving forward the social economy in Northern Ireland and make a real difference in tackling social and environmental problems. To continue this growth, business collaboration is key among social enterprises and private & public organisations.

    “The sector has a wealth of talented people who deserve recognition for their outstanding contribution to the economy and their positive social activity. I wish everyone the best of luck in their applications.”

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    Entrants will now complete applications using a new online portal, allowing them to edit, amend and review their entry before submitting. Entry is free and open to all social enterprises operating within Northern Ireland. The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 23rd July.

    The current Social Enterprise of the Year award winner, Jenny Williams of Habitat for Humanity Ireland, said: “It was an immense privilege to be recognised for our impact and named Social Enterprise of the Year last year. Our whole team; staff and the hundreds of volunteers who make our work possible, are dedicated to delivering for local people, the wider community and the planet, so the recognition was hugely appreciated. 

    “Winning this award has generated additional exposure for our organisation and is something we will cherish for a long time. I recommended that all NI social enterprises get involved in the awards this year.”

    Winners will be revealed on Friday 27th October at a gala ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast hosted by BBC radio presenter and Social Enterprise NI ambassador Cate Conway. The event last year attracted over 600+ people and guests are in for an action-packed evening, filled with inspiration and excitement.

    Source: Written from press release 

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