The School for Social Enterprises in Ireland creates development programmes for groups of current/future managers, leaders and entrepreneurs. We work with clients on programme concepts, content design, recruitment, delivery and evaluation.

SSEI programmes range from one-day, internal seminars to a sustained programme of workshops and mentoring. These programmes are often devised specifically for, and funded by, organisations with responsibility for economic and community development. See example below.


The Limerick City Programme

Graduation 9An SSEI led consortium including Podiem and UCIT supported by the Ulster Business School tendered and won a contract to deliver a year-long social enterprise intervention for Limerick City Enterprise Board.

The main aims of the programme were to:

  1. Build awareness and stimulate interest of the nature and potential of social enterprise (more commonly known as ‘community enterprise’) in Limerick.
  2. Provide a practical programme that will develop a cohort of community leaders to work through a leadership and business process that will enable them to support the creation or development of a social enterprise in their area.
  3. Provide a development process for people seeking to grow and develop a Community/Social Enterprise that would be sustainable and provide employment opportunities.

The approach adopted was to develop and deliver a 5 Phase Model (below) which had the following components:

  • PHASE 1 – The CSE Seminar Programme

The delivery of an introductory series of two CSE Masterclass Seminars which provided exposure to 4 practical case studies that demonstrated what can be achieved as well as outlined what it takes to build a successful Community/Social Enterprise in terms of skills and attitudes. (120 attendees)

  • PHASE 2 – The Leaders CSE Programme

The delivery of a series of 4 Workshop Modules which dealt with business and leadership skills that enabled community ‘leaders’ to work with and support individuals and groups involved in CSE in their local areas. (20 participants graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Management Practice)

  • PHASE 3 – Identification of CSE Business ideas

The identification of a number of community enterprises or ‘business ideas’ that had potential for longer term sustainability or growth along with the creation of jobs. (23 business ideas were submitted of which 12 were selected)

  • PHASE 4 – The CSE Development Programme

The delivery of a practical business development programme of 4 Workshops that would a) assist current and potential social entrepreneurs start a social enterprise, or b) take a current ‘community enterprise’ to the next level.  Each participating CSE business had the opportunity to apply for a business support fund of €1000 as well as access local mentoring support (Each business idea was supported by at least two and up to 4 participants at each workshop resulting in 42 people participating at this stage)

  • PHASE 5

The development of initial business plans for each of the participating business ideas teams with the potential of attracting up to €40,000 grant / loan to fund their project. (12 social enterprise established at different stages of set up).

Study Visits

1565SSEI regularly hosts study visits which allow participants to experience and understand how some of Belfast’s most successful social enterprises manage their business and positively impact their communities and stakeholders,

For more information on arranging a social enterprise study visit in Greater Belfast click here