There are an estimated 1400 Social Enterprises in Northern Ireland, but have you ever wondered what exactly a Social Enterprise is and what it does?
A Social Enterprise exists to better communities in a host of ways. They are businesses whose main purpose is to address social or environmental challenges rather than generating income solely for owners. This could include credit unions, Wellness and Community Hubs, Retail Units, Community businesses and so forth. Enterprises such as Madlug, created solely to provide a trendy hold-all (as opposed to a plastic bag) for children in care to transport their belongings. Profits generated from the sale of Madlug merchandise are reinvested back into the enterprise thus creating sustenance, support and growth.
Organizations such as Surestart, Bolster, and Centred Soul provide vital support and services in our communities. These organizations are just a few amidst a huge network of social enterprises, continuously working with an aligned vision to benefit people. We are proud to be one of about 100 social enterprises within the Newry, Mourne and Down area.
As part of a 100 strong Social Enterprise community, it was a delight to join many of these organizations in June 2022 in a marvellous coming together at Centred Soul, Newry. This event, hosted by Newry and Mourne Co-Operative and Enterprise Agency was a celebration of the Social Enterprises that make a difference in a multitude of ways within our area.
THE MADE IN MOURNE MISSION
Made In Mourne was founded in 2017 when local entrepreneur Jenna Stevenson recognised the need for support and services for local businesses and creatives in an isolated rural area. With an artisan food business ( The Curated Hamper Co) Jenna was forced to travel the 100-mile trip, each week in order to showcase her products.
With that came the realisation that many other people could be doing the same in the absence of a community space.
After lots of inquiries, it became apparent that there was a demand for a space in Kilkeel to facilitate small local businesses and support artists striving to start their own creative journey. Within 100 days and with the backing of many businesses in the area, Made In Mourne came to fruition.
Today, almost five years later, Made In Mourne has grown significantly. The retail space now supports and showcases the work of over 80 creatives as well as hosting events to support business growth and development. We now employ 8 part-time staff and support 2 job start placements.
Although the Covid Pandemic created obstacles for all businesses it also brought growth in the form of online income. This income becomes reinvested back into the community, thus enhancing community currency. This creates profit with purpose. The Made In Mourne Hub area became utilized by providing a service in the form of a safe, airy space, for people to remotely connect with colleagues. As circumstances allowed it was a delight to hold workshops once again and networking events.
We are thankful for your support on the journey so far……..
We are positively delighted to reveal that we’ve made the shortlist for this year’s Social Enterprise N.I Consumer Facing awards!!! This is thee best news, not only for the Made In Mourne team but our magnificent makers and the community we represent. We look forward to awards night but before that…. We need your help!
Please follow the link to vote for Made In Mourne and help us to bring a little bit of magic to Mourne!
VOTE MADE IN MOURNE HERE