My name is Michelle Clarke and I am a Business/Social Enterprise Advisor with Workspace and I have been involved with the delivery of a number of InvestNI programmes for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about helping people set up their business and helping groups.
The work that I do focuses on helping groups, community and voluntary groups adopting more business focus approach to their work, looking at ways that they can sustain their services. Looking at social enterprises and business opportunities that meet their needs.
Over the years, I worked with probably 50 or 60 groups. I helped them to set up new Social enterprises.
I have been involved in the delivery of Social enterprises support for the last 13 years. It’s an amazing area to work in. There is always something new and different happening which is why I Love it!
I have been covering Magherafelt, Coleraine, Moyle and Limavady areas.
In terms of local groups, I’ve been involved with a number of local groups. I also helped a number of church-based groups looking at ways that they can use their resources more effectively and efficiently to adopt a more business-focused approach to their work enabling them to generate surpluses that they can reinvest.
It’s interesting I worked with all sorts of businesses, everything from craft fairs, craft markets, to cafes, you name it. I’ve probably done it, childcare facilities.
Basically, any business can be a social enterprise the difference in it is, the profits and where the profits go. Within a private business, the profits go to the shareholders or the owners, whereas in a social
enterprise the profits are redistributed to a group and actually benefiting a community. That is the best thing about working on the Social Enterprise Programme.
To get help, contact us. The Social Enterprise Programme is not operating as such at the minute, but there will be a programme of support, so I encourage people to make contact and if we can’t help them what we usually do is try to source some help or further support for them. We try to do the best for groups. That is part of the ethos of Workspace. We do try to do our best in try to source the best support we can.