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Support for Social Innovation

Northern Ireland’s leading education and enterprise Charity, Young Enterprise, is collaborating with the Department of Communities to increase awareness of social innovation through this year’s Company Programme. Students, gearing up to trade at Regional trade fairs throughout the country, will be encouraged to think about social challenges that need addressed, and how they can create a social practice that aims to meet needs in a better way than the existing solutions.


Speaking about the collaboration, Young Enterprise Chief Executive Carol Fitzsimons MBE said: “The Businesses our students create can be for-profit or social enterprises. Through the Social Innovation Awards, supported by the Department of Communities, we encourage our students to think about how their business can ‘do good’ for society, whether that be in relation to education, community development or health”

Carol continues: “The Department of Communities compliments our aim to encourage young people to think socially whilst they are also thinking entrepreneurially. Our Company of the year finalists last year , Belfast Boys’ Model School & Mercy College, went on to win the ‘Pursuit of Opportunity Award’ at the national final with an app they created to breakdown the stigma surrounding the sensitive topic of mental well-being.

Already this year we are seeing some great ideas – from metal straws to challenge the issue of plastic waste,  Compresso cups that reduce recycling to baby hats where if a customer buys one, the student company will donate a second  to the neonatal baby unit in Belfast. Social Innovation winners from each of the six regional trade fairs throughout the Country will be recognised in the month ahead”

Department of Communities, Sharon Polson said: “The Department for Communities is delighted to sponsor the Social Innovation Award at this year’s Young Enterprise Northern Ireland competition. It is a great opportunity to embed the concept of Social Innovation in our entrepreneurs of the future and pave the way for them to impact on real social issues. The whole process is a fantastic experience for the young people and we look forward to seeing the products and services which emerge with the potential to improve people’s lives.”


For further information contact:

Anita Cooley Red Revolution. Call 07540929885 or email

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