Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Social Enterprise Newry - Research Report

VIEWS: 391 PAGES: 61

Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne - A research report into the impact of a business support mentroing programme on 25 established Social Enterprises.

More Info
									For Further Information Contact:
Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency Enterprise House WIN Business Park Newry BT35 6PH Tel: 02830267011 Email: info@nmea.net

Printed By Appleby Careers ‘Print It’ Project: Tel: 028 3751 8247

A Newry & Mourne Co-operative & Enterprise Agency Led Initiative

Programme Research Report
July 2008

www.socialenterprisenewryandmourne.com

SENAM DELIVERY TEAM

Dr Conor Patterson
Chief Executive Newry & Mourne Co-operative and Enterprise Agency

Pauline Coghlan
Senior Business Development Executive Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne

Stephen McClelland
Senior Business Development Executive Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne

Maeve McParland
Assistant Business Development Executive Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne

SENAM PARTNERSHIP

Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency

School for Social Entrepreneurship

Social Economy Belfast

University of Ulster

UCIT

Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade

CONTENTS
CHAIRMAN’S FOREWORD 1. 2. 3. 4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 5. 5.1 5.2 6. 6.1 6.2 6.3 7. 7.1 7.2 7.3 8. 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 9. 9.1 9.2 SUMMARY INTRODUCTION TERMS OF REFERENCE METHODOLOGY Stage 1: Desk Research/Development of Survey Stage 2: Benchmarking Business Assessments Stage 3: Focus Group Workshop Stage 4: 2nd Business Assessments Stage 5: Analysis of Data Stage 6: Report & Conclusions SENAM PROGRAMME Partnership Approach SENAM Programme Aim & Objectives THE SOCIAL ECONOMY IN THE NEWRY & MOURNE REGION Policy Context Defining the Sector The Size of the Sector CHARACTERISTICS OF SENAM ORGANISATIONS Business Sector Legal Status Size of Management Committee IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON BUSINESS SKILLS Business Planning Management Skills Effective Governance Sales and Networking Marketing and PR Information and Communication Technology (ICT) IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON BUSINESS PERFORMANCE Geographic Spread Number of Customers 3 4 5 5 6-7 6 6 7 7 7 7 8-12 8 9 13-16 13 15 16 17 17 17 17 18-21 18 18 19 20 20 21 22-26 22 22

___________________________________________________________________________ 1
SENAM Research – July 2008

9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 10. 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 11. 11.1 11.2 11.3

Users of Goods and Services Number of Employees Number of Volunteers Turnover IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON SOCIAL OBJECTIVES Geographic Spread Measuring Social Objectives Defining Social Capital Contribution to Building Social Capital Measuring Contribution to Social Capital SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS Outcome 1 Outcome 2 Outcome 3 BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX A APPENDIX B

23 23 24 26 27-28 27 27 28 28 28 29-31 29 29 30 32

___________________________________________________________________________ 2
SENAM Research – July 2008

CHAIRMAN’S FOREWORD
I am pleased to present this research report detailing some of the impacts of the Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne Initiative (SENAM) on the social economy in the Newry and Mourne district. This research was completed by UCIT in its role as a partner. Social Enterprises in Newry & Mourne have led the self-help movement in Ireland from Newry Credit Union (established 1964) through to the development of the WIN (Work In Newry) initiative and the Newry and Mourne Co-operative and Enterprise Agency. The social enterprise sector in the district continues to grow and diversify. SENAM was a Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency (NMEA) initiative, supported by the Newry and Mourne Local Strategy Partnership, part-funded under Measure 3.1 of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation’. It was developed, and substantially delivered by the Enterprise Agency, who additionally held responsibility for managing the Programme’s administration and financial requirements. In the course of delivering the programme, NMEA developed its working relationship with several key stakeholders within the social economy in Northern Ireland as well as the local economy in the Newry & Mourne region. Table 5.1 lists each SENAM partner organisation, along with their business area and input into the Programme: Since its launch in March 2007 there have been a number of significant achievements by Social Enterprise clients participating in the SENAM programme, including: Recognition by the private sector of the role of social enterprises: a new social enterprise category was included in the Newry Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, with IURfm a SENAM participant, winning the award. National Recognition for the SENAM initiative when Media Ireland a programme participant, became the first social enterprise from Northern Ireland to be a finalist in the New Statesman Edge Upstarts Awards, for best ‘New Social Enterprise’. SENAM participant Gosford Housing Association beat several other housing associations in a challenge to take over the Donaghcloney Housing Association in Lurgan. Leverage of £185,000 was secured from a variety of small funders as additional funding for the social economy sector. Four new Social Enterprises have been established with the support of the SENAM initiative: The Bosco After Schools Club, IURfm Community Radio Station, Crossfire’s Mega Mobile outreach programme and Newry & District Community Services outside catering business. The Orana Family Support Centre was supported in making a successful application for £1.4million to the DSD Modernisation Fund. Jobs within the social economy sector in Newry & Mourne have increased by 21, and the number of volunteers within the sector has increased by 165. The social enterprises participating in the programme increased their annual turnover by more than £275,000 during the period of the programme. SENAM has proved to be an extremely effective initiative and it is my belief that there will be many more benefits which will emerge over a longer period of time. In conclusion I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SENAM team at Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency for its energy and commitment to making the programme such a success: Senior Business Development Executives, Stephen McClelland and Pauline Coghlan, and Assistant Business Development Executive, Maeve McParland.

Dr Conor Patterson Chief Executive Newry & Mourne Co-operative and Enterprise Agency

___________________________________________________________________________ 3
SENAM Research – July 2008

1. SUMMARY Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne (SENAM) is an initiative of Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency, developed from 35 years of experience working in the social economy sector. SENAM is supported by Newry and Mourne Local Strategy Partnership part-funded under Measure 3.1 of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation’. SENAM was developed to support the economic growth of the social economy in the Newry and Mourne region. Over a 2 year period, to the end of July 2008, SENAM developed and delivered a flexible programme of tailored business mentoring, specialist seminars, study visits and trade events with the aim of improving the business performance and social objectives of 25 social enterprises. Several key objectives were identified in pursuit of this aim: Develop a more competitive, sustainable, local social enterprise network; Build the capability of the sector to compete and co-operate effectively with the private and statutory sectors, in developing earned income activity; Promote partnership working to improve co-ordination and trading between social enterprises; Strengthen the range of locally available support to social enterprises; Unlock market potential to grow existing and generate new income streams; Influence local policy makers to consider social enterprise as a potential solution to a wide range of social and economic problems; Inform finance providers who have been unsure of the risk and appropriateness of lending to the sector.

UCIT, in its role as a partner in SENAM, was commissioned to complete a research project to support the aims and objectives of the SENAM initiative. This report describes the terms of reference for the research, the methodology and key findings. The study has three aims: 1. Assess the impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance and social objectives of the 25 participating social enterprises; 2. Define the level of awareness among SENAM Programme participants of their status as social enterprises; 3. Measure the economic impact of the social economy on the wider economy in the Newry and Mourne region. In summary, the key findings of the report: Show that the SENAM Programme has succeeded in strengthening the business performance and social objectives of the 23 social enterprises which completed the Programme, with the sample population representing 23% of the social economy sector in the Newry & Mourne region. Suggest that the term ‘social enterprise’ is only one of a number of definitions used by organisations operating within the social economy. Show that there is a lack of comparable statistical data that can be used to benchmark the economic contribution and competitiveness of the social economy with that of other sub-sectors of the economy in the Newry and Mourne region. The Report suggests that the measurement of competitiveness could help raise the profile of the social economy and demonstrate its impact in a way that is more understandable by an audience that would not otherwise appreciate or even get to know about the sector’s economic impact. However the research revealed that the programme participants annually contributed to the local economy: Direct Economic £6.2 million generated in the local economy, with purchases and spending by employees recycled into the local community; 278 jobs created. Indirect Economic 689 volunteering opportunities created; improving the employability of residents and giving people experience of enterprise and business; Service provision filling the gaps in public service delivery; Contribution to building social capital in local communities.

-

-

___________________________________________________________________________ 4
SENAM Research – July 2008

2. INTRODUCTION Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne (SENAM) is an initiative of Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency, developed from 35 years of experience working in the social economy sector. SENAM is supported by Newry and Mourne Local Strategy Partnership part-funded under Measure 3.1 of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation’. SENAM was developed specifically to support the economic growth of the social economy in the Newry and Mourne region. Over a 2 year period, to the end of July 2008, SENAM developed and delivered a flexible programme of tailored business mentoring, specialist seminars, study visits and trade events with the aim of improving the business performance and social objectives of 25 social enterprises. 3. TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR RESEARCH REPORT UCIT, in its role as a partner in SENAM, was commissioned to complete a research project to support the aims and objectives of the SENAM initiative.1 This report describes the terms of reference for the research, the methodology and key findings. This study has three aims: Assess the impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance and social objectives of the 25 participating social enterprises; Define the level of awareness among SENAM Programme participants of their status as social enterprises; Measure the economic impact of the social economy on the wider economy in the Newry and Mourne region.

-

-

Key outputs from this study are: Desk research undertaken to collect background information on the SENAM Programme and the social economy in the Newry & Mourne region; 50 business assessment surveys undertaken to benchmark and compare the business performance and social objectives of the 25 social enterprises prior to, and after the completion of the SENAM Programme; 10 business assessment surveys undertaken with a control group of 5 social enterprises which did not participate on the SENAM Programme; One focus group workshop completed with a sample population of 7 social enterprises to collect information on the level of awareness among participant organisations of their status as members of the social economy; A final report produced identifies the needs of the Social Economy sector in the Newry and Mourne region and highlights the positive impact of participation on the SENAM Programme and the need for increased support for the social economy sector.

-

-

-

-

This report presents a number of important conclusions about the impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance and social objectives of participating organisations.

1

Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), in its role as a partner in the Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne Programme, was commissioned to undertake this study at the beginning of March 2007.

___________________________________________________________________________ 5
SENAM Research – July 2008

4. METHODOLOGY Diagram 4.1 briefly outlines the six stages used to undertake this study. Each stage is discussed in more detail below. Diagram 4.1: Research Methodology

Desk Research / Development of Survey

1

Benchmarking Business Assessment of SENAM

Benchmarking Business Assessment of Control Group

2

Focus Group Workshop

3

2nd Business Assessment of SENAM Participants

2 Business Assessment of Control Group

nd

4

Analysis of Data

5

Report & Conclusions

6

4.1 Stage 1: Desk Research / Development of Survey (UCIT / Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency) This preliminary stage involved: An initial research planning meeting between UCIT and the SENAM lead agent, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency in March 2007; A review of the objectives and anticipated outputs of the SENAM Programme; Analysis of existing information on the social economy in the Newry & Mourne region; An examination of the wider policy context in relation to the social economy; The design and development of a business assessment survey by Newry and Mourne Enterpries Agency and UCIT, which was pre-tested with 2 business mentors from Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency (See Appendix A);

4.2 Stage 2: Benchmarking Business Assessments (Social Enterprise Belfast / Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency) Between 4th May and 29th August 2007 twenty five questionnaires were successfully completed as part of an initial business assessment meeting between a business mentor from the Programme’s lead agent, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, and each social enterprise.2 This initial benchmarking survey collected both quantitative and qualitative information on the business performance and social objectives
2

The initial business assessment survey was completed with each SENAM Programme participant prior to their participation on the Programme. Due to the flexible nature of the Programme, which provided social enterprises with different levels of business intervention over different periods of time, the completion of the initial business assessment was staggered in accordance with the requirements of each organisation.

___________________________________________________________________________ 6
SENAM Research – July 2008

of all 25 social enterprises. The survey was also designed to establish the business support needs of each social enterprise prior to their participation on the SENAM Programme. In addition, five initial business assessment meetings were held with a control group of 5 social enterprises which did not participate on the SENAM Programme. This survey was completed by a representative from Social Economy Belfast under the same conditions as that of the sample population, between 20th July and 20th September 2007. The control group consisted of the following organisations: Ardee Community Development Company Ardmonagh Family & Community Centre Farset International Feile FM Footprints Women's Centre

4.3 Stage 3: Focus Group Workshop (UCIT / Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency) A focus group workshop was held at the premises of Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency on 23 April 2008. The workshop was attended by 7 people representing 7 social enterprises in the Newry & Mourne region (see Appendix B). At the workshop consideration was given to: The level of awareness among participants of their status as social enterprises; Definitions commonly used by participants to describe their organisations.
rd

4.4 Stage 4: 2nd Business Assessments (Social Enterprise Belfast / Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency) Between 23rd November 2007 and 2nd July 2008 twenty three questionnaires were successfully completed as part of the 2nd business assessment survey with 23 social enterprises following the completion of the SENAM Programme (see Appendix A).3 The survey was undertaken by two business mentors from the Programme’s lead agent, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, and followed the same format as the initial benchmarking exercise outlined in stage 2 of the research process. This produced a comparable data set that was then used to track the impact of the Programme on the business performance and social objectives of each participating organisation. In addition, five 2nd business assessment meetings were successfully completed with the original control group of 5 social enterprises which did not participate on the SENAM Programme. This survey was again conducted by a representative from Social Economy Belfast under the same conditions as that of the sample population, between 14th April and 19th May 2008. 4.5 Stage 5: Analysis of Data (UCIT) Findings from the four surveys and the focus group workshop were analysed in the context of the information collected as part of the secondary analysis carried out during stage 1 of the research process. 4.6 Stage 6: Report & Conclusions (UCIT / SENAM Partners) This report includes results from of the research process that was carried out through stages 1 - 4. It also includes a number of important conclusions about the impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance and social objectives of participating organisations.

3

The 2 business assessment survey was completed with each SENAM Programme participant on completion of the Programme. Due to the flexible nature of the Programme, which provided social enterprises with different levels of business intervention over nd different periods of time, the completion of the 2 business assessment was staggered in accordance with the requirements of each organisation.

nd

___________________________________________________________________________ 7
SENAM Research – July 2008

5. SENAM PROGRAMME Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne (SENAM) is an initiative of Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency, developed from 35 years of experience working in the social economy sector. SENAM is supported by Newry and Mourne Local Strategy Partnership part-funded under Measure 3.1 of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation’.4 SENAM was developed specifically to support the economic growth of the social economy in the Newry and Mourne region. Over a 2 year period, to the end of July 2008, SENAM developed and delivered a flexible programme of tailored business mentoring, specialist seminars, study visits and trade events with the aim of improving the business performance and social objectives of 25 social enterprises.5 5.1 Partnership Approach SENAM was a Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency (NMEA) initiative which was developed, managed and substantially delivered by the Enterprise Agency, who additionally held responsibility for managing the Programme’s administration and financial requirements. NMEA developed a partnership between several key stakeholders within the social economy in Northern Ireland and the local economy in the Newry & Mourne region. Table 5.1 lists each SENAM partner organisation, along with their business area and input into the Programme: Table 5.1: Programme Partnership
Support Organisation Business Area Programme Input

-

Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency (Lead Agent):

Social enterprise development organisation in Newry & Mourne region.

Strategic leadership; Programme development and management; Provision of tailored business mentoring; Administration, financial management and research functions.

-

Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade:

Representative body for local businesses in Newry & Mourne region. Social finance organisation working throughout Northern Ireland. UK wide network offering training initiatives to social enterprises. Co-ordinator of knowledge exchange between University and social economy. Partnership working to develop social enterprises in Belfast area.

Programme strategic input.

-

Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT): School for Social Entrepreneurs in Ireland (SSEI): University of Ulster (Office of Innovation & Enterprise):

Programme strategic input and research function.

-

Programme strategic input and specialist seminars.

-

Programme strategic input and training function.

-

Social Economy Belfast:

Programme strategic input, study visits and research function.

4

SENAM received a grant of £140,000 from Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership in August 2006 under the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland 2006 – 2008 (PEACE II) Extension. The grant was awarded under Measure 3:1 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Measure 3:1 consists of Priority 3: Locally Based Regeneration and Development Strategies; and Measure 1: Local Economic Initiatives for Developing the Social Economy. 5 Twenty five organisations were recruited to the SENAM Programme. Two organisations have been excluded from the study as one has ceased trading and the other withdrew from the SENAM Programme due to other commitments.

___________________________________________________________________________ 8
SENAM Research – July 2008

5.2 SENAM Programme Aim & Objectives The primary aim of the Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne Programme (SENAM) was to support the economic growth of the social economy in the Newry & Mourne region. Over a 2 year period, to the end of July 2008, SENAM developed and delivered a flexible programme of business support designed to increase the capacity of 25 social enterprises to compete more effectively within the local economy. Several key objectives were identified in pursuit of this aim: Develop a more competitive, sustainable, local social enterprise network; Build the capability of the sector to compete and co-operate effectively with the private and statutory sectors, in developing earned income activity; Promote partnership working to improve co-ordination and trading between social enterprises; Strengthen the range of locally available support to social enterprises; Unlock market potential to grow existing and generate new income streams; Influence local policy makers to consider social enterprise as a potential solution to a wide range of social and economic problems; Inform finance providers who have been unsure of the risk and appropriateness of lending to the sector.

Schedule one of the Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership’s Letter of Offer to the SENAM Partnership on 25th August 20066 identified four key programme aims. These aims and the anticipated outcomes of the Programme are detailed in table 5.2: Table 5.2: Programme Aims & Outcomes
Aims 1. Deliver SENAM at a cost of not more than £200,000 over the period from August 2006 to June 7 2008 Mentoring support programme for 25 existing social enterprises Outcomes 25 full-time jobs safeguarded among client businesses; 5% increase in turnover within 18 months; 5 new trading opportunities identified e.g. public sector tendering; 50 individuals accessing peer networking opportunities on a crosscommunity basis. 12 businesses supported to develop sustainable activities, business planning skills, increased levels of job creation and understanding of management improvement tools; 10 businesses supported to develop management skills and quality systems, and to tender individually or in partnership for private and public sector contracts; 3 businesses supported to improve their commercial potential and to address specific barriers to growth. 12 specialist seminars delivered – attended by at least 50 social enterprises; 11 study visits delivered in NI and GB – attended by 25 social enterprises; 2 annual trade events delivered to facilitate meetings between social enterprises, the private sector and the statutory sector and to disseminate new research materials and case studies – attended by at least 50 social enterprises per year. Provide technical support to assist 4 new social enterprises participating on the Invest NI Social Entrepreneurship Programme and assist organisations applying to a fund of £60k to address identified shortfalls.

2.

-

-

3. Networking support programme of specialist seminars, study visits and trade events

-

-

4.

New business start programme with the production of implementation plans

-

SENAM provided a range of tailored business mentoring, specialist seminars, and networking opportunities that were flexible enough to address issues that are of particular relevance to individual social enterprises, and strategically focused on assisting the sector to compete more effectively within the local economy.
6

Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership’s Letter of Offer (Ref: 38498) was received by Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne th (SENAM) on 25 August 2006. The Letter of Offer details the parameters of the SENAM Programme and the conditions under which the offer of grant funding was made. This document is available from SENAM upon request. 7 Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership granted an extension to the SENAM Programme to the end of July 2008.

___________________________________________________________________________ 9
SENAM Research – July 2008

Chart 5.1 and 5.2 below highlight the type of business support received by all 25 social enterprises between March 2007 and July 2008. Chart 5.1 illustrates the Programme’s mentoring element, and chart 5.2 shows the range of training and networking opportunities accessed by each social enterprise. Matrix Chart 5.1: SENAM Mentoring Programme
Strategic Review & Planning: Fundraising strategy: Market Research & Product Diversification: Network Dev. with community, private & public sector: Market research & marketing strategy: Development of marketing & promotional materials: Research to identify new services that can be provided: ICT Review &/or Website, email management systems: Fund raising strategies, research funders / applications: Review of financial systems / performance: Review of salaries / rates of commission Human resources / Recruitment / contracts / staff training:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Action Mental Health – New Horizons: Aerwaves Limited (IUR-fm Community Radio): Altnaveigh Tartan Enterprises Limited: Annalong Community Development Association: Ballyholland Harps GAC: Camphill Community Mourne Grange: Cnocnafeola Centre: Crossfire Trust: Dominican Playgroup: Friends of Millview: Gosford Housing Association: Jonesborough & Dromintee Enterprises: Kilkeel Development Association: Mourne Stimulus: Newry & District Community Service Council: Newry & Mourne Community Transport: Orana Family Support Centre: Orana Surestart: Shopmobility Newry: Society of St. Vincent De Paul: South Area hospice Services: Sure Start The Coach House Restaurant: Ti Chulainn Centre: Whitegates Community Business Limited:

√ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √

√

√ √ √

√ √

√ √ √ √

√

√

√ √ √ √

√

√

√

√

___________________________________________________________________________ 10
SENAM Research – July 2008

Matrix Chart 5.2: SENAM Training & Networking Opportunities
Business Assessment Visits Study visit: Extern Belfast 08 Study visit 1:Ardee Business Park 07 Study Visit: Secret Garden Hillsborough 07 Study Visit: London 07 Study Visit: Near Dublin FM Study Visit: Voice 08 Benchmarking Visit: McSense Group/ Trade Fair, Scotland Benchmarking visit: Tree Project Belfast/ N&M Com. Transport Seminar: Café Conversation – Jean Horstan Seminar: Café Conversation – John Bennett Seminar: Fundraising seminars x4 Seminar: Social return on investment Trade Event 1: Trade Event 2:8 Knowledge Cub – Peace & Reconciliation Training: Principal negotiations Course: Marketing & Finance Training:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Action Mental Health – New Horizons: Aerwaves Limited (IUR-fm Community Radio): Altnaveigh Tartan Enterprises Limited: Annalong Community Development Association: Ballyholland Harps GAC: Camphill Community Mourne Grange: Cnocnafeola Centre: Crossfire Trust: Dominican Playgroup: Friends of Millview: Gosford Housing Association: Jonesborough & Dromintee Enterprises: Kilkeel Development Association: Mourne Stimulus: Newry & District Community Service Council: Newry & Mourne Community Transport: Orana Family Support Centre: Orana Surestart: Shopmobility Newry: Society of St. Vincent De Paul: South Area hospice Services: Sure Start The Coach House Restaurant: Ti Chulainn Centre: Whitegates Community Business Limited:

√ √ √ √

√ √

√ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √

√ √

√ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √

√

√ √

√

√ √

√ √ √ √ √ √

√

√

√

√

√

√ √

√

√

√ √ √

√ √

√

√ √ √ √ √

√ √ √

√ √ √ √

√

8

Trade Event 2 is scheduled for 12 Augst 2008

th

___________________________________________________________________________ 11
SENAM Research – July 2008

Diagram 5.1 shows that 56% of the 25 social enterprises that participated on the SENAM Programme were located in the Newry City area, 22% were from South Down and 22% were from South Armagh. Diagram 5.1: Location of SENAM participants in Newry and Mourne region

SENAM Programme Participant
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. Action Mental Health – New Horizons: Aerwaves Limited (IUR-fm Community Radio): Altnaveigh Tartan Enterprises Limited: Annalong Community Development Association: Ballyholland Harps GAC: Camphill Community Mourne Grange: Cnocnafeola Centre: Crossfire Trust: Dominican Playgroup: Friends of Millview: Gosford Housing Association: Jonesborough & Dromintee Enterprises: Kilkeel Development Association: Mourne Stimulus: Newry & District Community Service Council: Newry & Mourne Community Transport: Orana Family Support Centre: Orana Surestart: Shopmobility Newry: Society of St. Vincent De Paul: South Area hospice Services: Sure Start: The Coach House Restaurant: Ti Chulainn Centre: Whitegates Community Business Limited:

Area
Newry Newry Newry Annalong Newry Kilkeel Atticall Keady Newry Bessbrook Markethill Jonesborough Kilkeel Kilkeel Newry Newry Newry Newry Newry Newry Newry Camlough Newry Mullaghbawn Newry

Map Reference

Please note: the blue map reference circle represents 14 SENAM Programme participants in the Newry City area.

___________________________________________________________________________ 12
SENAM Research – July 2008

6. THE SOCIAL ECONOMY IN THE NEWRY & MOURNE REGION 6.1 Policy Context Social Enterprise in Newry and Mourne has displayed the bottom-up efforts and self-help approach for over 40 years. From the activities in the late 1960’s of the Credit Union movement to the development WIN (Work In Newry) and the Newry and Mourne Co-operative and Enterprise Agency in the early 1970’s the sector has continued to grow and diversify. In recent years reducing European funding has forced Community and Voluntary organisations to consider taking the social enterprise route. Other enterprises are entering the social enterprise sector as spin off’s from the Health & Social Care Trusts or from Religious organisations. The sector is more active and diverse than ever before and while it is facing the same business pressures as the private sector it carries the added burden of a double and sometimes triple bottom line. The establishment of a dedicated Social Economy Branch in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in July 2002 has provided a focal point for the strategic development of the social economy in all areas of Northern Ireland.9 The intervening six years has produced a number of the new 10 structures and initiatives designed to maximise the potential of the sector. Among them, DETI’s Three Year Strategic Plan 2004–2007 ‘Developing a Successful Social Economy’ is perhaps the most important policy lead to come out of the Executive. Developed within the context of the UK Government’s wider 11 social enterprise strategy and the increasing focus on the sector within the European Union, the strategy sets out three key strategic objectives: Increase awareness of the sector and establish its value to the local economy Develop the sector and increase its business strengths Create a supportive and enabling environment

DETI’s cross-departmental strategy has had varying degrees of success across all three objectives. The Department’s final ‘Progress Report on Developing a Successful Social Economy’, published in July 2007, highlights a number of good initiatives that have been developed by individual departments and agencies in an effort to increase awareness of the sector and establish its value to the local economy. The Report details work undertaken by DETI, Invest NI, Department for Social Development (DSD), Department of Education (DE) and Department for Employment and Learning (DEL). The Report also comments on sector’s communications strategy, which has included professionally written social enterprise case studies; the introduction of a social economy event as part of Invest NI’s annual Enterprise Week; and sponsorship of key events on the social economy calendar (DETI, July 2007). From a policy perceptive, the sector has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In the six years since the establishment of the Social Economy Branch there have been greater levels of policy integration across Government, with individual departments working towards a common agenda through the Inter-Departmental Steering Group (IDSG), and members of the restored Social Economy Network (SEN) working in partnership with Government through the Social Economy Forum. The introduction of the Community Interest Company structure by DETI in April 2007 and launch of a ‘Public Procurement Guide’ for the sector by the Central Procurement Directorate in February 2005 (CPD),12 are further examples of how policy is beginning to make inroads in establishing new structures in support of the regional social economy.
The Social Economy Branch was established following a major review of the sector by Colin Stutt Consultancy in 2001 and the publication of the 2002 – 2005 DETI Corporate Plan, which identified a lead role for the Department in the development of a more integrated approach to promote increased awareness of the social economy as an integral and vital element of Northern Ireland’s economy. 10 Structures developed by DETI in support of the social economy in Northern Ireland include: funding the Social Economy Agency to facilitate the establishment of a Social Economy Network (SEN), which was re-established as an independent company in August 2006 with a funding package of £600,000 from DETI to 2010; the formation of an Inter-Departmental Steering Group (IDSG) to develop a more integrated approach across Government; and the creation of a Social Economy Forum, where representatives from SEN and officials from Government work together in partnership. In terms of providing the sector with strategic direction, DETI’s Three Year Strategic Plan 2004 – 2007 ‘Developing a Successful Social Economy’ has provided the impetus for a more integrated approach by the Government up until the end of 2007. 11 The European Union (EU) has been a key driver in the development of the Social Economy in Northern Ireland, with over £55m being allocated under the PEACE II Programme to Local Strategy Partnerships for the development of local social economy initiatives within each district council area. 12 The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) resides within the Department of Finance and Personnel. The Executive’s current Programme for Government, which sets out its priorities for 2008 – 2011, sets out its intention to increase access to public procurement opportunities for social enterprises.
9

___________________________________________________________________________ 13
SENAM Research – July 2008

The Executive’s current programme for Government, which sets out its priorities for 2008–2011, recognises the social economy as an integral part of its plans to grow the local economy and promote sustainable community development (NI Executive, 28 January 2008). As a result, policy makers have taken the decision to retain responsibility for policy within DETI at the end of 2007; and as part of its draft Corporate Plan 2008–2011, which is currently out for consultation, Invest NI has set out its intention to continue its support for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship Programme’ (SEP) as a key programme for developing the sector over the next three years with the support of UCIT.

___________________________________________________________________________ 14
SENAM Research – July 2008

6.2 Defining the Sector Over the course of this study there has been some resistance to using the term ‘social enterprise’. The initial business assessment meetings with SENAM Programme participants found that only 12% use the term to describe their organisation.13 Figure 6.1 shows that the most common term used by respondents was ‘community/voluntary organisation’ (36%). A further 32% subscribed to being a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. This evidence was reinforced at the focus group workshop in April 2008, with participants split between those that identified with the social economy and those who subscribed to being not-forprofit or belonging to the community and voluntary sector.
Figure 6.1: Most Common Description used by SENAM Programme Participants to Describe their Organisation 4%
36% Community /Voluntary Organisation 32% Not-for-Profit 12% Social Enterprise 8% Community Enterprise 4% Trading Arm of a Charity 4% Partnership 4% Other

4%

4%

8% 36%

12%

32%

None of the organisations which participated in the control group indicated that they used the term ‘social enterprise’ to describe their operations. The most common term used by respondents was ‘community/voluntary organisation’ (40%); followed by ‘Not-for-Profit’ (20%), ‘Community Enterprise’ (20%) and ‘Trading Arm of a Charity’ (20%). It is beyond the scope of this report to investigate the issue of definition with an estimated 1,200 social enterprises in Northern Ireland.14 But the data gathered over the course of the study would suggest that the term ‘social enterprise’ is only one of a number of competing definitions used by those working in the sector. In the absence of a generally accepted definition, the data provided by the 25 organisations participating on the SENAM Programme suggests that many social enterprises are using their own subjective definitions to identify themselves and their work. The Social Economy Network (SEN) touched upon the issue in 2004 when it concluded that the definitions used to describe the sector are used inter-changeably (McManus, 2004). SEN cited no less than nine classifications, including: Social Economy Sector, Social Enterprise Sector, Third Sector, Third System, Community & Voluntary Sector; Social Economy Enterprises, Social Economy Organisations, Social Enterprises, Social Enterprise Organisations.

The issue of clarity has also been highlighted by Venture International as part of its work to map the scale of the social economy in the Newry & Mourne region in August 2003.15 The consultancy noted a lack of recognition of the terminology used to describe the sector and the failure of some organisations to recognise themselves as being part of the social economy (Venture International, August 2003). Over the last seven years the Government has made every effort to end this confusion. In 2001, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) commissioned a review of the social economy in Northern Ireland. It identified a number of characteristics present in all social enterprises, and concluded that the essence of the social economy is in the application of an explicit business model to not-forpersonal-profit organisations with a social, community or ethical purpose (Stutt, June 2001). Taking its lead from this Review, the Government adopted a definition of social economy enterprises to include organisations which:
Twenty five questionnaires were successfully completed as part of an initial business assessment meeting with each SENAM Programme participant. Respondents were asked about the description they used to describe their organisation – Figure 1 shows the most common descriptions used by respondents. 14 Findings from DETI’s First Survey of Social Economy Enterprises in Northern Ireland in July 2007 estimate that there are 1,200 social economy enterprises in Northern Ireland providing 20,000 jobs. 15 Venture International was commissioned by the Newry & Mourne LSP in August 2003 to undertake a mapping study that would inform future investment and guide the strategic development of the social economy in the region.
13

___________________________________________________________________________ 15
SENAM Research – July 2008

-

Have a social, community or ethical purpose; Operate using a commercial business model; Have a legal form appropriate to a not-for-personal-profit status (DETI, September 2004).

This definition has become the touchstone for all subsequent policies and programmes over the last six years, indeed since the establishment of a dedicated Social Economy Branch in DETI in July 2002. Subsequent research, however, suggests that many of those working within the sector are still not clear about how the definition applies to them. By the Government’s own admission, ‘there is a certain ambiguity in defining the sector; it does not fall under any existing classification systems and the current definition is open to interpretation by individual enterprises’ (DETI, July 2007). This study has been limited to the organisations participating on the SENAM Programme. Nevertheless, the results would suggest that the term ‘social enterprise’ has some way to go before it gains universal currency with the organisations working within the sector. This assertion presents us with two basic issues. The first is historical. Figure 6.1 has shown that the majority of SENAM Programme participants subscribe to being a ‘community/voluntary organisation’. This could be attributed to the level of importance placed on achieving social outputs over securing economic sustainability. It might also be a result of the all-pervasive nature of the community and voluntary sector’s work in the public consciousness, and/or NICVA’s success over the last 22 years in keeping the sector high on the 16 policy agenda in Northern Ireland. In contrast, the social economy is still a relatively new concept for many of those working within the sector. The fact that we are still debating the issue of whether or not organisations describe themselves as social enterprises shows the continuing underdevelopment of the social economy and need for additional measures to increase awareness of the sector and its work. Second, the social economy is widely recognised as a sub-sector of the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. NICVA counts social enterprises among its 1,000 strong membership base, and highlights the need to support community and voluntary organisations that want to establish social enterprises (NICVA, 28 April 2004).

6.3 The Size of the Sector An examination of the size and scope of the social economy in the Newry and Mourne region formed the basis of a mapping study carried out by Venture International in August 2003. The study was commissioned by Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership and identified 370 organisations as part of the wider social economy continuum. The study concluded that the wider social economy continuum could be further split into two categories. One category comprising 270 organisations which focus on building social capital; and a second category comprising 100 organisations which are in a position to generate some income. Venture International refers to the latter as a social enterprise category (Venture International, August 2003).17 All of the organisations which completed the SENAM Programme generate some income and, as a result, are said to be drawn from the 100 organisations which comprise the social enterprise category. Twenty three organisations completed the SENAM business assessment survey, which represents a sample population of 23% of the above social enterprise category.18

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) is an umbrella organisation which represents the interests of the voluntary and community sector throughout Northern Ireland. 17 Venture drew upon databases held by ROMAL, ROSA and CCG, as well as local knowledge (other known social economy organisations, including credit unions, charity trading arms, etc.) to identify 370 organisations working within the wider social economy continuum. 18 The data collected during the business assessment meetings show that the sample population of SENAM Programme participants are in a position to generate some income from trading activities on a similar basis to that of the 100 social enterprises identified by Venture.

16

___________________________________________________________________________ 16
SENAM Research – July 2008

7. CHARACTERISTICS OF SENAM ORGANISATIONS 7.1 Business Sector Figure 7.1 shows a breakdown of the 25 social enterprises which participated on the SENAM Programme by business sector. The organisations surveyed represented 11 different business sectors in the Newry & Mourne region. Just under a quarter (24%) of the respondents classified themselves as ‘Childcare & Social Care’ businesses, with ‘Enterprise & Workspace’ (16%) and ‘Hotels, Hostels, Bars & Restaurants, including Tourism Initiatives’ (16%) being the next largest categories. The remaining SENAM Programme participants consisted of ‘Education & Training’ (12%); ‘Sports & Recreation’ (8%); ‘Community Transport’ (4%); ‘Manufacturing, including recycling’ (4%); ‘Wholesale & Retail Trade’ (4%); and ‘Other’ business sectors (12%).
Figure 7.1: Main Busines Sector of SENAM Programme Participants
24% Childcare & Social Care 16% Enterprise & Workspace 16% Hotels, Hostels, Bars & Restaurants (including Tourism Initiatives) 12% Education & Training 12% Other (Community Media; Catering; Healthcare) 8% Sports & Recreation 4% Community Transport 4% Manufacturing (including recycling) 4% Wholesale & Retail Trade 0% Construction 0% Energy & Enironmental Sector 0% Finance (including Credit Unions)

4% 8%

4%

4% 0% 24%

12% 16% 12% 16%

The control group was broadly representative of the above business sectors, with the majority (40%) of organisations involved in ‘Childcare & Social Care’; ‘Enterprise & Workspace’ (20%); ‘Hotels, Hostels, Bars & Restaurants, including Tourism Initiatives’ (20%); and ‘Other – Community Media (20%). 7.2 Legal Status The majority (64%) of the organisations participating on the SENAM Programme indicated that their legal status was that of a ‘Company Limited by Guarantee’, with ‘Unincorporated Community Groups with a constitution’ representing the next largest group (20%). The remaining social enterprises consisted of one ‘Industrial & Provident Society’ (4%) and three organisations with some ‘other’ type of legal status (12%), including an unincorporated management group; a charitable Trust; and a voluntary organisation. 7.3 Size of Management Committee Table 7.1 shows that the majority of organisations participating on the SENAM Programme have between 5 and 9 people on their management committee. Data collected ‘before and ‘after’ the Programme showed no change in the number of people on each organisation’s management committee. Table 7.1: Percentage of Organisations and Size of Management Committee
Number people on Management Committee 2 to 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15-19 20-24 Before % 10% 43% 33% 14% 0% After % 9% 40% 32% 14% 5%

___________________________________________________________________________ 17
SENAM Research – July 2008

8. IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON BUSINESS SKILLS A key aim of the SENAM Programme was to build the capacity of social enterprises to do business more effectively within the local economy in the Newry and Mourne region. In order to measure the impact of the Programme, participating organisations were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills across six key areas of business, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Business Planning Management Skills Effective Governance Sales and Networking Marketing and PR Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Data was provided by 23 SENAM Programme participants ‘before’ and ‘after’ their participation on the Programme. The following six sections provide an overview of the Programme’s impact on the business skills and knowledge of the sample population. 8.1 Business Planning Organisations were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills on the business planning process ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme. The business planning process consisted of the following ten areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Key elements of a business development strategy Conducting an internal business review Conducting an external business review SWOT analysis; the Business Excellence Model; the Balanced Scorecard; P.E.S.T Product / service life cycle Comparative analysis techniques Key areas of business development Action planning SMART objectives Monitoring and controlling a business development strategy

Table 8.1 shows an increase in the number of responses from SENAM Programme participants which indicate improved levels of knowledge and skills on business planning following the completion of the Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a decrease (-81%) in response rates for no knowledge/skills, and an increase (140%) in the number of times that SENAM Programme participants have indicated that they have extensive knowledge/skills in business planning since their participation on the Programme. Table 8.1: Level of Business Planning Knowledge/Skills Before and After the Completion of the SENAM Programme
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

10 61 54 37 58

24 80 65 40 11

140% 31% 20% 8% -81%

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills among respondent organisations on the business planning process. 8.2 Management Skills SENAM Programme participants were asked to indicate their level of management skills ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the Programme. The management process consisted of the following eight areas:

___________________________________________________________________________ 18
SENAM Research – July 2008

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Strategic planning, vision, mission and objectives of organisation Risk management Leadership, communication and motivation of staff members Budgeting, reporting and controlling fiscal resources Organising and leading volunteers to provide governance and other assistance Quality management, planning and measuring continuous improvement (ISO, etc.) Awareness of public policy and statutory regulations in relation to organisation strategic marketing of the organisation’s image, mission and services

Table 8.2 shows an increase in the number of organisations which indicated improved levels of management skills following the completion of the SENAM Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a decrease (-67%) in the number of response rates for no knowledge/skills, and an increase (52%) in the number of responses from Programme participants indicating that they have strong knowledge/skills in the management process. Table 8.2: Level of Management Skills Before and After the Completion of the SENAM Programme
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

18 58 57 37 6

27 88 49 10 2

50% 52% -14% -73% -67%

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills among respondent organisations on the management process. 8.3 Effective Governance Organisations were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills on effective governance, ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme. Effective governance consisted of the following eight areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Strategic planning, vision, mission, and objectives of organisation Financial management and budget control, including annual accounts Statutory accountability, including health and safety, fair employment policy. Structures used to govern the organisation, including AGM and annual report. Risk management Recruitment and management of staff and volunteers Public procurement The benefits of networking.

Table 8.3 shows an increase in the number of responses from SENAM Programme participants which indicate improved levels of knowledge and skills in effective governance following the completion of the Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a decrease (-83%) in the response rates for no little knowledge/skills and a 40% increase in the number of times that SENAM Programme participants have indicated that they have strong knowledge/skills in effective governance. Table 8.3: Level of Effective Governance Knowledge and Skills Before and After the Completion of the SENAM Programme
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

18 73 49 28 6

24 102 39 8 1

33% 40% -20% -71% -83%

___________________________________________________________________________ 19
SENAM Research – July 2008

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills in relation to effective governance among respondent organisations. 8.4 Sales and Networking Programme participants were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills on sales and networking ‘before’ and ‘after’ the Programme was completed. Sales and networking consisted of the following ten areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The selling process, including structures, opening, building and closing the sale. Prospecting your customers – customer database, database management skills. Sales presentation, including structure Techniques for handling objections Buying signals & closing methods Sales follow-up Customer care The benefits of networking Types of networking Building and maintaining a business network.

Table 8.4 shows an increase in the number of responses from SENAM Programme participants which indicate improved levels of knowledge and skills in sales and networking following the completion of the Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a decrease (-84%) in the response rates for no knowledge/skills and an increase of 115% in the number of times that the Programme participants have indicated that they have strong knowledge/skills of sales and networking. Table 8.4: Level of Sales and Networking Knowledge and Skills Before and After the Completion of the Programme
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

23 47 68 61 19

34 101 57 21 3

48% 115% -16% -66% -84%

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills in relation to sales and networking among respondent organisations. 8.5 Marketing and PR Programme participants were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills in marketing and PR ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme. Marketing and PR consisted of the following areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Market research Marketing strategy Marketing techniques (writing press releases, etc) Image Promotion (company logo; professionally designed website) Networking Sales follow-up.

Table 8.5 shows an increase in the number of responses from Programme participants who indicated that they had improved levels of knowledge and skills in marketing and PR following the completion of the Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a sizable decrease (-88%) in the response rates for no knowledge/skills, and an increase (174%) in the response rates for strong knowledge/skills in marketing and PR.

___________________________________________________________________________ 20
SENAM Research – July 2008

Table 8.5: The Level of Marketing and PR Knowledge and Skills Before and After the completion of the Programme.
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

7 19 39 44 17

11 52 42 23 2

57% 174% 8% -48% -88%

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills in relation to marketing and PR among respondent organisations. 8.6 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Organisations were asked to indicate their level of knowledge and skills in information and communication technology (ICT) ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme. ICT consisted of the following 17 areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Conducting an ICT review Use of web as a business resource, including sourcing, travel, consumables, etc. Use of web as a transactional tool Use of web for customer interaction – customer support, product information, marketing initiatives. Use of an intranet to share files, internet connection, etc Use of email with suppliers and customers Hardware selection Printers and printing costs ICT network – cables or wireless Broadband options and associated costs ICT support packages contract/ad hoc Software selection and licensing issues Virus protection, firewalls and company ICT policies Data backup procedures Website, including development, management, promotion Fixed line and mobile telecommunications-equipment and tariffs The internet as a research tool.

Table 8.6 shows an increase in the number of responses from SENAM Programme participants which indicate improved levels of knowledge and skills in information and communication technology (ICT) following the completion of the Programme. A breakdown of the data shows a decrease (-65%) in response rates for no knowledge/skills and an increase of 200% in the number of times Programme participants indicated that they have extensive knowledge and skills in ICT. Table 8.6: The Level of ICT Knowledge/Skills Before and After the Completion of the Programme.
Knowledge/Skills Level Extensive Knowledge/Skills Strong Knowledge/Skills Moderate Knowledge/Skills Very Little Knowledge/Skills No Knowledge/Skills
No. of Responses Before Programme No. of Responses After Programme +/- Change %

5 46 95 137 91

15 64 197 66 32

200% 39% 107% -52% -65%

In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the level of knowledge and skills in relation to ICT among respondent organisations.

___________________________________________________________________________ 21
SENAM Research – July 2008

9. IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON BUSINESS PERFORMANCE The impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance of the 23 organisations which completed the Programme is examined under the following headings: 1. Geographic Spread 2. Number of Customers 3. Users of Goods and Services 4. Number of Employees 5. Number of Volunteers 6. Turnover 9.1 Geographic Spread The 23 organisations which completed the SENAM Programme provide goods and services to a wide geographic area which includes the Newry & Mourne region, Northern Ireland, the UK, and the Republic of Ireland. Table 9.1 shows the percentage change in the number of organisations providing goods and services to the aforementioned areas following the completion of the SENAM Programme. Table 9.1: Percentage of Organisations Providing Goods and Services to Different Geographic Areas ‘Before’ and ‘After’ SENAM Programme19
Areas served Annalong Cloughreagh Newtownhamilton Kilkeel Rostrevor Northern Ireland UK Before % 39% 35% 39% 47% 39% 39% 17% After % 47% 43% 47% 52% 47% 39% 17% Areas served Bessbrook Crossmaglen Forkhill Newry Warrenpoint Republic of Ireland Other Before % 47% 47% 43% 65% 39% 39% 13% After % 61% 57% 47% 70% 47% 43% 26%

Excluding Northern Ireland and the UK, data shows that all areas have seen increased levels of service provision from SENAM Programme participants. It is particularly interesting to see an increase (4%) in the export of goods and services to the Republic of Ireland, up from 39% to 43% after the Programme. In addition, just over a third (35%) of respondents indicated that they were providing goods and services in new areas following the completion of the Programme. In contrast, data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the provision of goods and services by respondent organisations to existing or new geographic areas. 9.2 Number of Customers Data on the number of customers catered for by SENAM Programme participants was provided by 22 organisations ‘before’ and ‘after’ their participation on the Programme. Over half (57%) of respondents indicated that they had seen their customer base increase in size. The remaining respondents consisted of those organisations whose customer base had remained consistent (39%) and one organisation which indicated that it had experienced a decrease in its customer base (4%). Table 9.2 shows that the total number of customers receiving goods and services from SENAM Programme participants has increased by 5,295 to just over 23,000. A further indicator of increased customer numbers can be seen in a decrease of 8% in the number of organisations with a customer base
19

Respondents could select more than one response; therefore the total percentage of all responses does not equate to 100%

___________________________________________________________________________ 22
SENAM Research – July 2008

of 100 or less. Both the number of organisations with 500 or more customers and the median number of customers for all respondents remained consistent over the course of the SENAM Programme. Table 9.2: Customer Numbers ‘Before’ and ‘After’ SENAM Programme
Before After

Total number of customers 500 or more customers 100 or less customers Median number of customers

17,830 45% 35% 300

23,125 45% 27% 300

In contrast, respondents participating in the control group study indicated no change in the number of customers accessing their goods and services during the same period. 9.3 Users of Goods and Services Figure 9.1 shows the percentage of SENAM Programme participants which offer disadvantaged groups access to goods and services.20 Data provided by respondents ‘before’ and ‘after’ their participation on the Programme showed an overall increase of 11% in the number of organisations providing goods and services to all user groups. Following the completion of the SENAM Programme between 87% and 100% of all respondents were catering for women, older people, people with a disability, young people, victims of the conflict and the unemployed. The largest increase (17%) was recorded by organisations serving ex-prisoners and victims of the conflict.
Figure 9.1: Provision of Goods and Services by SENAM Programme Participants
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

100% 91% 83% 76% 65% 70% 74% 87% 74% 57% 87%

96% 78%

96% 87% 70% 74% 57% 39% 87%

69% 52%

13% 13%

Overall Level of Goods/Service Provision

Women

Children

Older People

Ex-prisoners

Ethnic Minorities

People with a Disability

Young People

Victims of the Conflict

Unemployed

Travellers

Other

In contrast, the data collected as part of the control group study showed no change in the provision of goods and services by respondent organisations to the disadvantaged groups highlighted in figure 3. 9.4 Number of Employees The total number of paid employees in the 22 organisations which completed this section of the survey was 257 prior to the SENAM Programme, and 278 following the completion of the Programme. An increase of 8% would suggest positive trading conditions and strong business growth among respondent organisations over the course of the SENAM Programme. The changes recorded in Figure 9.2 suggest little or no real change in the percentage of male and female employees over the course of the SENAM Programme. However, the majority (84%) of paid employees in the sample population were female on completion of the Programme.

Disadvantaged groups are defined in accordance with Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and the indicators identified in the New Targeting Social Need (TSN) policy which was introduced in 1998. New TSN is a continuation of the original TSN which was introduced in 1991.

20

___________________________________________________________________________ 23
SENAM Research – July 2008

Figure 9.2: Breakdown of Paid Employees Before and After SENAM Programme
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

86% 84%

49% 46%

37% 38% 14% 16%

10% 10%
Male full-time

4% 6%
Male part-time Female full-time Female part-time

Total Number of Male Employees

Total Number of Female Employees

Data provided by respondents which participated in the control group study showed no change in the number of paid employees during the same period. The survey placed an emphasis on the analysis of employment levels among SENAM Programme participants in relation to four disadvantaged groups, including people with a disability; people aged 26 and under; people aged 55 and over; and migrant workers. Figure 9.3 shows the level of employees representing each of these disadvantaged groups as a percentage of the total number of paid employees in the 22 organisations which participated in this section of the survey.21
Figure 9.3: Breakdown of Employee Groups Before and After SENAM Programme
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme

25% 20% 17% 15% 12% 10% 5% 4% 11%

20%

3% 1%

3%

0%

People with a disability

People aged 26 and under

People aged 55 and over

Migrant workers

When set against an increase of 28% in employment levels among SENAM Programme participants on completion of the Programme, the changes recorded in Figure 9.3 suggest little or no real change in employment levels among the four disadvantaged groups shown. 9.5 Number of Volunteers SENAM Programme participants are highly dependent (91%) on volunteer workers. The total number of volunteers in the 23 organisations taking part in the survey was 524 prior to the Programme, and 689 on completion. An increase of 31% would suggest that SENAM Programme participants have been very successful in attracting new volunteers over the course of the Programme. Figure 9.4 shows that just over half (57%) of the volunteer workforce in the sample population on completion of the SENAM Programme were male.
21

The total number of paid employees prior to the SENAM Programme was 217, and 278 following the Programme.

___________________________________________________________________________ 24
SENAM Research – July 2008

A further indicator of the growth in volunteer numbers can be seen in an 18% increase in the number of respondents which indicated that they have between 10-49 volunteers, from 30`% to just under half (48%) on completion of the Programme. Again, this underlines the importance of voluntary work to the social economy.
Figure 9.4: Breakdown of Volunteer Workers Before and After SENAM Programme
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme 60% 51% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Male full-time Male part-time Female full-time Female part-time Total Number of Male Volunteers Total Number of Female Volunteers 10% 6% 6% 9% 45% 39% 34% 52% 48% 43% 57%

Excluding Feile FM, which indicated an increase in the number of volunteer workers, the majority of respondents who participated in the control group study indicated no change in their volunteer levels.22 The survey placed a particular emphasis on the analysis of volunteer levels among SENAM Programme participants in relation to four disadvantaged groups, including people with a disability; people aged 26 and under; people aged 55 and over; and migrant workers. Figure 9.5 shows the level of voluntary work undertaken by these four disadvantaged groups as a percentage of the total number of volunteer workers in the 23 organisations taking part in the survey.23 Data shows an increase (3%) in the number of people aged 26 and under undertaking voluntary work, and a decrease of 3% in volunteers aged 55 and over. However, when set against an increase of 31% in overall volunteer levels among SENAM Programme participants on completion of the Programme, the changes recorded in Figure 9.5 suggest little or no real change in voluntary numbers among the four disadvantaged groups shown.
Figure 9.5: Breakdown of Volunteer Groups Before and After SENAM Programme
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme
25% 20% 17% 15% 11% 10% 5% 5% 1% 0% People with a disability People aged 26 and under People aged 55 and over Migrant community 1% 8%

20%

5%

A sharp increase in the number of volunteer workers in Feile FM, the station of Feile an Phobail, can be explained by the organisation’s seasonal recruitment of volunteers ahead of the West Belfast Festival in August 2008. 23 The total number of volunteer workers prior to the SENAM Programme was 524, and 689 following the Programme.

22

___________________________________________________________________________ 25
SENAM Research – July 2008

9.6 Turnover Turnover figures were provided by 20 organisations ‘before’ and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme and totalled just under £6m in the 2005-2006 financial year and just over £6.2m in 20062007; an increase of just over £278,000. The median turnover for respondents during each financial year was £100,000 and £92,500 respectively. Table 9.3 shows that the number of organisations having a turnover of between £100,000 and £500,000 has decreased by 15% to just under a third (30%) in 2006-2007. This movement can be explained by one organisation increasing its turnover to between £500,000 and £1m, and a decrease in turnover for two organisations to under £100,000. Table 9.3: Annual Turnover ‘Before’ and ‘After’ SENAM Programme
Turnover of SENAM Programme Participants Less than £100,000 £100k but less than £500k £500k but less than £1million Greater than £1million Total
24

2005-2006

2006-2007

45% 45% 0% 10% 100%

55% 30% 5% 10% 100%

Overall, 65% of respondents indicated that they had increased their turnover during 2006-2007, with 15% breaking even and 20% indicating a decrease in their turnover on 2005-2006. Figure 9.6 shows a decrease of 10% from 43% to 33% in the number of respondents which indicated that they earned 51% or more of their income from trading activities on completion of the SENAM Programme. The survey also recorded a decrease of 9% from 77% to 68% in the total number of organisations receiving grants and donations and an increase of 23% from 95 to 32% in the number of organisations that are generating income from public service contracts following the completion of the Programme. This decrease in grant support and increase in public procurement would suggest that the way social enterprises are engaging with the public sector has changed over the course of the SENAM Programme.
Figure 9.6: Source of Income Before and After SENAM Programme
Before SENAM Programme After SENAM Programme 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Income earned from trading activities

82%

86% 77% 67% 57% 43% 33% 14% 9% 77% 68%

91%

32% 9%

51% or more earned from trading activities

50% or less earned from Income received from trading activities grants & donations

51% or more from grants & donations

50% or less from grants Income earned from & donations public service contracts

Excluding Feile FM, which indicated an increase in the level of grant funding received, the majority of respondents who participated in the control group study indicated no change in turnover figures during the same period.25

Survey population total: 20 organisations, which excludes five organisations that did not provide turnover figures. A sharp increase in the turnover figures for Feile FM, the station of Feile an Phobail, can be explained by the organisation’s success in securing grant funding ahead of the West Belfast Festival in August 2008.
25

24

___________________________________________________________________________ 26
SENAM Research – July 2008

10. IMPACT OF SENAM PROGRAMME ON SOCIAL OBJECTIVES This section of the report looks at the impact of the SENAM Programme on the social objectives of the 23 organisations which completed the Programme. In order to measure the impact of the Programme, participating organisations were asked to indicate whether or not they had clearly stated social objectives ‘before’ and ‘after’ their participation on the Programme. The majority of organisations (96%) indicated that they had clearly stated social objectives prior to the SENAM Programme. The key findings of the business assessment survey are highlighted below: A diverse range of social objectives were provided by respondents ‘before’ and ‘after’ their participation on the SENAM Programme which closely reflected each organisation’s business sector. Data collected from written responses would suggest that the Programme has succeeded in raising awareness among participants about the need for clearly stated social objectives, with many organisations revising their initial responses to include a broader understanding of their social and environmental objectives. During the 2 business assessment meeting one organisation stated that it had completed a social audit to ensure that its activities were relevant to the needs of the local community. Another respondent revised its initial business assessment response to indicate that it did not have clearly stated social objectives. This would again suggest better awareness among the sample population about the need for clearly stated social objectives.
nd

-

-

10.1 Geographic Spread The organisations which participated on the SENAM Programme provide social benefits to a wide geographic area which includes the Newry & Mourne region; Northern Ireland; the UK; and the Republic of Ireland. Table 10.1 shows the percentage change in the number of organisations providing social benefits to the aforementioned areas ‘before ‘and ‘after’ the completion of the SENAM Programme. Table 10.1: Geographic Spread of Social Benefits ‘Before’ and ‘After’ SENAM Programme
Areas served Annalong Cloughreagh Newtownhamilton Kilkeel Rostrevor Northern Ireland UK Before % 48% 39% 52% 61% 52% 26% 4% After % 52% 43% 48% 57% 52% 26% 4% Areas served Bessbrook Crossmaglen Forkhill Newry Warrenpoint Republic of Ireland Other Before % 48% 57% 48% 70% 43% 26% 22% After % 61% 57% 57% 61% 48% 30% 26%

Just over a third (34%) of respondents indicated that they were providing social benefits in new areas following the completion of the Programme. Data also shows a decrease in the number of organisations providing social benefits in Newtownhamilton (48%), Kilkeel (57%) and Newry (61%). However, the majority of areas showed either an increase or no change in the number of organisations providing social benefits on completion of the SENAM Programme. 10.2 Measuring Social Objectives The results of the survey showed no change in relation to measuring social objectives; what is measured; and how often social objectives are measured. Data indicated that almost three quarters (73%) of respondents measured social objectives prior to the SENAM Programme, which remained consistent with the response rate on completion of the Programme.

___________________________________________________________________________ 27
SENAM Research – July 2008

10.3 Defining Social Capital Social capital describes the building of networks and development of shared values between people and local communities. Communities that have a good ‘stock’ of social capital are more likely to benefit from lower crime figures, better health, higher educational achievement, and better economic growth. Social enterprises can play a crucial role in facilitating and promoting the growth of social capital in local communities. Over half (52%) of those organisations which responded to the initial business assessment survey showed a good understanding of the term ‘social capital’ and how it applies to their work within local communities, with 13% indicating an appreciation of ‘social capital’ and just under a third (30%) having no understanding of the term. On completion of the SENAM Programme almost three quarters of respondents showed a good understanding of the term ‘social capital’; An increase of 22%. A further 9% indicated that they had an appreciation of the term and only 4% of organisations stated that they had no understanding of ‘social capital.’ 10.4 Contribution to Building Social Capital Prior to the SENAM Programme the majority (87%) of organisations were able to describe their contribution to building social capital and increasing civic engagement in the local community. This figure increased to 100% of all organisations on completion of the Programme. Data would suggest that the SENAM Programme has succeeded in raising awareness of the term ‘social capital’ and how it applies to the work being carried out by respondents in their local communities. For example, during the 2nd business assessment one respondent indicated that they had ‘greater awareness of the impacts of building social capital and its impact as a result of the Programme.’ Respondents also showed a greater level of understanding about what is involved in engaging with the local community to receive input and feedback on their work and social objectives. 10.5 Measuring Contribution to Social Capital Prior to the SENAM Programme just over a quarter of organisations indicated that they measured their contribution to social capital. On completion of the Programme this figure increased to 61% of respondents. In addition, the 2nd business assessment highlighted a greater willingness by respondents to develop new methods to measure the impacts of their services on the community and to investigate how to improve their existing services. A range of methods were mentioned, including self-evaluation frameworks; monitoring and evaluation forms; tracking peoples’ progress and changes in lifestyle; regular partner and client reviews of action plans.

___________________________________________________________________________ 28
SENAM Research – July 2008

11. SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS This study supports the view that Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne (SENAM) has succeeded in providing support to and encouraging the economic growth of the social economy in the Newry & Mourne region between the end of April 2007 and start of July 2008. Over a period of fourteen months SENAM has delivered a flexible programme of tailored business mentoring, specialist seminars, study visits and trade events with the aim of improving the business performance and social objectives of 25 social enterprises. The Programme’s key achievements are summarised under three key outcomes below. 11.1 Outcome 1 Objective one of this report involved an evaluation of the impact of the SENAM Programme on the business performance and social objectives of 23 social enterprises which completed the Programme. A summary of Programme’s key outcomes are set out below: The survey recorded an overall increase in the number of responses from SENAM Programme participants that reported improved levels of knowledge and skills on completion of the Programme in: the business planning process the management process effective governance sales and networking marketing and PR information and communication technology The survey also recorded: Increased levels of service provision by SENAM Programme participants, with just over a third (35%) indicating that they were providing goods and services in new areas following their participation on the Programme. An increase in the number of customers catered for by Programme participants, with just over half (57%) of all respondents indicating that they had seen their customer base increase in size by 5,295 to just over 23,000 by the end of the SENAM Programme. An increase of 8% in the total number of paid employees from 257 prior to the SENAM Programme to 278 following the completion of the Programme. An increase of 31% in the total number of volunteer workers, up from 524 volunteers prior to the Programme to 689 on completion. This increase illustrates the growing importance of voluntary work in the operations of SENAM Programme participants. An overall increase in turnover from just under £6m in the 2005-2006 financial year to over £6.2m in 2006-2007. This represents an increase of just over £278,000 for all respondent organisations which completed this section of the survey. Greater levels of awareness among SENAM Programme participants about the crucial importance of building ‘social capital’ and how their work contributes to the growth of civic engagement in local communities in the Newry and Mourne region.

-

-

-

-

11.2 Outcome 2 Objective two of this report involved an examination of the level of awareness among SENAM Programme participants of their status as social enterprises. A summary of the key findings and recommendations are set out below: The data gathered over the course of the study suggests that the term ‘social enterprise’ is only one of a number of competing definitions used by those working in the sector. The results of the business assessment survey showed that the most common term used by respondents was ‘community/voluntary organisation’ (36%). A further 32% subscribed to being a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation and only 12% use

___________________________________________________________________________ 29
SENAM Research – July 2008

the term ‘social enterprise’ to describe their organisation. This evidence was reinforced at the focus group workshop in April 2008, with participants split between those that identified with the social economy and those who subscribed to being not-for-profit or belonging to the community and voluntary sector. This report highlights two basic issues with the use of the term ‘social enterprise.’ The first is historical. The majority of SENAM Programme participants subscribe to being community/voluntary organisations. In contrast, the social economy is still a relatively new concept for many of those working within the sector. The fact that we are still debating the issue of whether or not organisations describe themselves as social enterprises shows the continuing underdevelopment of the social economy and need for additional measures to increase awareness of the sector and its work. Second, the social economy is widely recognised as a sub-sector of the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. NICVA counts social enterprises among its 1,000 strong membership base, and highlights the need to support community and voluntary organisations that want to establish social enterprises (NICVA, 28 April 2004). It is recommended that stakeholders such as Enterprise Northern Ireland, School for Social Entrepreneurs, UnLtd, UCIT, NICVA and SEN come together to explore the opportunity for establishing a more integrated approach towards supporting the development of the social economy. For example, where Enterprise Northern Ireland and NICVA have the capacity to deliver an outreach programme, UCIT, UnLtd, School for Social Entrepreneurs and SEN bring their specific expertise and focus to the sector. Each organisation’s capabilities could be combined as part of an outreach programme that seeks to raise awareness, educate and build the profile of the social economy at a grassroots level. 11.3 Outcome 3 Objective three of this report involved an examination of the economic impact of the social economy on the wider economy in the Newry and Mourne region. The research revealed that the SENAM programme participants annually contribute to the local economy: Direct Economic £6.2 million generated in the local economy, with purchases and spending by employees recycled into the local community; 278 jobs created. Indirect Economic 689 volunteering opportunities created; improving the employability of residents and giving people experience of enterprise and business; Service provision filling the gaps in public service delivery; Contribution to building social capital in local communities. However the data gathered over the course of this study has shown that the key issue with any examination of this kind is that the economic contribution of the social economy does not receive the same level of recognition afforded to other sub-sectors of Northern Ireland’s economy. The latest edition of the Northern Ireland Economic Bulletin highlights the economic contribution of no less than 14 sectors, ranging from financial services to public administration, yet despite taking its policy lead from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) there is no delineation for the social economy (DETI, June 2007).26 As a result, there is a lack of comparable statistical data that can be used to benchmark the economic contribution and competitiveness of the social economy with that of other sub-sectors of the economy. This issue was highlighted by Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) in 2004 as part of their response to DETI’s consultation on ‘Developing a Successful Social Economy.’ The Foundation noted

-

The Northern Ireland Economic Bulletin highlights 14 sub sectors of the regional economy, including: Financial Services, Agriculture, Business Services, Transport, Construction, Hotels, Health, Retail, Manufacturing, Other Services, Education, Mining, Energy and Public Administration (DETI, 2007, pg 15).

26

___________________________________________________________________________ 30
SENAM Research – July 2008

that the economic and social value of the sector ‘cannot be measured as a contribution that can be quantified directly to the economy’ (CFNI, May 2004). The measurement of competitiveness could help to raise the profile of the social economy and demonstrate its impact in a way that is more understandable by an audience that would not otherwise appreciate or even get to know about the sector’s economic impact. This audience would include: Politicians (MPs, MLAs, Councillors, political parties); Policy makers (NI Executive, NDPBs,27 local government bodies); Opinion formers (media commentators, think tanks, lobby groups); Potential customers (individual consumers and corporate bodies); Public sector procurement staff; Potential staff; Private investors (Banks, business angels and international investment organisations).

In summary, what worked well: Increased business strength – The evidence set out in this report has shown the effectiveness of Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne (SENAM) as a Programme of professional business support which has strengthened the economic performance and social objectives of the social enterprise sector. Encouraging an entrepreneurial approach – The business assessment element of the Programme has shown that many social enterprises are fledgling businesses which depend on tailored business support services such as the SENAM Programme to develop the right blend of skills and knowledge needed to compete more effectively as a business within the marketplace. Recognition of need for ongoing support – The impact and success of the Programme over a relatively short period of fourteen months and with twenty three organisations, which represented 23% of the social enterprise sector in the Newry & Mourne region, has demonstrated the need for a long-term funding strategy which delivers a business support service that is responsive to the needs of the wider sector in the region and is secured on a contract basis.

-

-

27

Non-Departmental Public Bodies in Northern Ireland include bodies such as Invest NI, the Arts Council, and Sports Council NI.

___________________________________________________________________________ 31
SENAM Research – July 2008

BIBLIOGRAPHY CFNI (May 2004) Response to ‘Developing a Successful Social Economy – NI Government’s Three-Year Strategic Plan 2004-2007; CFNI CPD (February 2005) Public Procurement: A Guide for Social Economy Enterprises; Department of Finance and Personnel DETI (July 2007) Findings from DETI’s First Survey of Social Economy Enterprises in Northern Ireland; Social Economy Branch and Statistics Research Branch DETI (July 2007) Progress on Developing a Successful Social Economy 2004-2007: NI Government’s Progress Report on 2006-2007 Action Plan; Social Economy Branch DETI (September 2004) Developing a Successful Social Economy: NI Government’s Three-Year Strategic Plan 2004-2007; Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment McManus, P. (May 2004) Definition of the Social Economy in Northern Ireland: Finding a Way Through; Social Economy Network NICVA (28 April 2004) NICVA’s Response to Developing A Successful Social Economy; NICVA NI Executive (28 January 2008) Building a Better Future: Programme for Government 2008 – 2011; Northern Ireland Executive Stutt, C. (June 2001) The Social Economy in Northern Ireland: A Policy Review; in association with Dr. Brendan Murtagh, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Mike Campbell, Leeds Metropolitan University; Colin Stutt Consulting Venture International (August 2003) Social Economy Mapping Study: Newry & Mourne Local Strategy Partnership

___________________________________________________________________________ 32
SENAM Research – July 2008

APPENDIX A

INITIAL & 2nd BUSINESS ASSESSMENT SURVEY
APPENDIX B

FOCUS GROUP WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT LIST

___________________________________________________________________________ 33
SENAM Research – July 2008

APPENDIX A BUSINESS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne Partnership
Social Enterprise Business Assessment

A Newry & Mourne Co-Operative & Enterprise Agency Lead Initiate

UCIT Research, Policy & Fundraising Unit – April 2007

Foreword The following business assessment forms part of Social Enterprise Newry & Mourne’s new programme of assistance for social economy organisations in the district. The assessment is made up of two sections. The first section will help the respondent to look at what their organisation does. The second section will help the respondent to indicate how well they are doing and decide exactly where improvements are needed. This initial consultation should take approximately 45 minutes Please note: At the outset Business Mentors should ensure that the respondent is able to answer questions about the organisation, e.g. legal status, income, number of staff/volunteers, management, training needs, future plans. If not, ask for an alternative contact name.

1

Section 1: Social Enterprise Business Assessment
1. Prepared for? Organisation Name:

Address:

Postcode: Telephone: Fax: Email: Survey Completed with: Position in Organisation:

2. Year in which Organisation was established?

3. Legal status of Organisation? (select one option only) Unincorporated community group with a constitution: Company limited by Guarantee: Company limited by Shares: Industrial & Provident Society: Don’t know: Other (please specific):

2

4. Year in which Company was incorporated?

5. Why did the organisation opt for the legal status indicated above in question 3?

6. Does the Organisation have charitable status? Yes: No:

7. Which of the following terms would you use to describe the organisation? (select one option only) Not-for-profit: Community enterprise: Social enterprise: Development trust: Other If other, please specify: Community/voluntary organisation: Trading arm of a charity: Partnership: Private company Don’t know:

8. Please outline in more detail why you opted for your selection in question 7?

3

9. What products / services are currently sold by the organisation?

10. Please indicate the main business sector in which your organisation operates or generates the most earned income? (tick one box only) Manufacturing (including re-cycling): Construction: Wholesale & retail trade: Finance (including credit unions): Hotels, hostel, bars & restaurants (including tourism initiatives): Community Transport: Enterprise & Workspace: Education & training: Childcare & social care: Energy & environmental sector: Sports & recreation: Other: If other, please specify:

4

11. Which of the following geographic area/s does your organisation sell its products / services? (tick all options that apply) Annalong: Cloughreagh: Newtownhamilton: Kilkeel: Rostrevor: Bessbrook: Crossmaglen: Forkhill: Newry: Warrenpoint:

N. Ireland: UK: If other, please specify:

Republic of Ireland: Other:

12. Approximately how many customers do you deal with? 13. What percentage of sales is accounted for by your three largest customers? 14. Approximately what percentage of your sales turnover in the past year has resulted from sales generated from existing customers? 15. Approximately what percentage of your sales turnover in the past year has resulted from sales generated from new customers?

16. Which of the following describes the people who use the products / services that are sold by your organisation? (tick all options that apply) Women: Children: Older people: Ex-prisoners: Ethnic Minorities: People with a disability: Young people: Victims of the conflict: Unemployed: Travellers:

Don’t know: If other, please specify:

Other:

5

17. What potential exists for trading other products / services in the future?

18. Describe your three main competitors, their geographical location and your company size in comparison with theirs? Company 1.

Company 2.

Company 3.

19. In comparison with your three main competitors are your services / products better (B), worse (W), or equal (E) in terms of: Company 1. Product appearance: Product durability: Product flexibility: Service quality: Innovation / uniqueness: Company 2. Company 3. Not applicable

6

20. Do you think your company is better (B), worse (W), or equal (E) to your three main competitors in terms of: Company 1. Workforce skills level: Staff development: Willingness to empower staff: Enhanced service to customers: Value for money to customers: Company 2. Company 3. Not applicable

21. In what area do you think you could make the most improvement in relation to your competitors?

22. Does the organisation have clearly stated social objectives? (as defined in mission, aims and constitution) Yes: If yes, please describe: No:

7

23. What activities does the organisation undertake to achieve the social objectives described in question 22?

24. Which of the following geographic area/s does your organisation provide social benefits? (tick all options that apply) Annalong: Cloughreagh: Newtownhamilton: Kilkeel: Rostrevor: Bessbrook: Crossmaglen: Forkhill: Newry: Warrenpoint:

N. Ireland: UK: If other, please specify:

Republic of Ireland: Other:

25. Are the organisation’s social objectives measured, what is measured and how are they measured?

8

26. What do you understand by the term social capital?

27. What contribution does your organisation make to building social capital and civic engagement in the community? Social capital describes the building of networks and development of shared values between people and local communities. Those communities that have a good ‘stock’ of social capital are more likely to benefit from lower crime figures, better health, higher educational achievement, and better economic growth. Third-sector organisations can play a crucial role in facilitating and promoting its growth. Indicator examples of social capital are: helping out in a local group as a volunteer, reputation within the community as safe, community communication and community service.

28. Is the organisation’s contribution to building social capital measured, what is measured and how is it measured?

9

29. Current employment and volunteer levels in Organisation?
Employees Volunteers Employees Volunteers

Permanent full-time Permanent part-time Temporary full-time Temporary part-time Total

Male Male Male Male Male

Female Female Female Female Female

30. How many of the following groups are employed as members of staff?
Employees Volunteers

People with a disability: People aged 26 and under: People aged 55 and over: Migrant workers: Other: If other, please describe:

10

31. What job titles do the employees hold and what are the average salaries? Job Title 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. £ £ £ £ £ £ Salary (per annum)

32. How many people are on the management committee (or board) of your organisation?

33. How many of the following groups are on the management committee? People with a disability: People aged 26 and under: People aged 55 and over: Women: Total:

34. Please list the skills and expertise of each member of the management committee?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

11

8.

16.

35. What was the annual turnover of your organisation in the financial year 2005-2006? £

36. Please estimate the percentage of the organisation’s turnover that comes from the following sources? (Total percentage should add up to 100%) Grants: Fundraising: Earned income from trading activity: % % %

Public service Contracts: Other income: If other, please describe:

% %

37. In the 2005-2006 financial year, did your organisation generate a? Surplus: Loss: Breakeven:

______________________________________

12

Section 2: Social Enterprise Business Assessment
1. Business Planning
Knowledge / Skills Key elements of a business development strategy: Conducting an internal business review: Conducting an external business review: SWOT analysis; the Business Excellence Model; the Balanced Scorecard; P.E.S.T: Product / service life cycle: Comparative analysis techniques: Key areas of business development: Action planning: SMART objectives: Monitoring and controlling a business development strategy: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

13

2. Management Skills
Knowledge / Skills Strategic planning, vision, mission and objectives of organisation: Risk management: Leadership, communication, and motivation of staff members: Budgeting, reporting and controlling fiscal resources: Organising and leading volunteers to provide governance and other assistance: Quality management, planning & measuring continuous improvement (ISO, etc): Awareness of public policy and statutory regulations in relation to organisation: Strategic marketing of the organisation’s image, mission and services: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

14

3. Effective Governance
Knowledge / Skills Strategic planning, vision, mission and objectives of organisation: Financial management and budget control, including annual accounts: Statutory accountability, including health and safety, fair employment policy. Use the Notes Section to list the organisation’s policies and when they were last updated? Structures used to govern the organisation, including AGM and annual report: Risk management: Recruitment and management of staff and volunteers Public procurement: The benefits of networking: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

15

4. Sales and Networking
Knowledge / Skills The selling process – structures – opening, building and closing the sale: Prospecting your customers – customer database – database management skills: Sales presentations – structure: Techniques for handling objections: Buying signals – closing methods: Sales follow-up: Customer care: The benefits of networking: Types of networking: Building and maintaining a business network: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

16

5. Marketing and PR
Knowledge / Skills Market research: Marketing strategy: Marketing techniques (writing press releases, etc): Image Promotion (company logo; business cards; professionally designed website): Networking: Sales follow-up: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

17

6. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Knowledge / Skills Conducting an ICT review: Use of web as a business resource – sourcing raw materials, travel, consumables, etc: Use of web as a transactional tool: Use of web for customer interaction – customer support, product information, marketing initiatives: Use of an intranet to share files, internet connection, etc: Use of email with suppliers and customers: Hardware selection: Printers and printing costs: ICT network – cables or wireless: Broadband options and associated costs: ICT support packages contract/ad hoc: Software selection and licensing issues: Virus protection, firewalls and company ICT policies: Data backup procedures: Website – development, management, promotion: Fixed line and mobile telecommunications – equipment and tariffs: The internet as a research tool: NOTES: None Very Little Moderate Strong Extensive

18

7. Finance
a. What financial systems does your organisation have in place? Please specify:

b. Do you think that these systems are producing information that you require? Please specify:

c. What changes would you like to make e.g. what information would you like to receive but are not currently? Please specify:

d. What bookkeeping system is in place? Please specify:

19

e. Have budgets been set? Please specify:

f. Are they compared to actuals? Please specify:

g. Are they updated regularly? Please specify:

h. Do you use cash flow projections? Please specify:

i. Do you use product costing? Please specify:

20

j. Is your system manual or computerised? Please specify:

k. What payroll system do you use? Please specify:

l. Is this system manual or computerised? Please specify:

m. What are your gross profit margins? Please specify:

n. Who are your main suppliers? Please specify:

21

o. How dependent are you on your main suppliers? Please specify:

p. What is the sales product mix – to determine if your organisation is to dependent on one particular product or service? Please specify:

q. Does your organisation perform a sensitivity analysis to determine the impact of price changes for both sales and costs? Please specify:

r. Do you know your organisation’s breakeven target? Please specify:

s. Are management accounts produced? Please specify:

t. Are management accounts / annual accounts available for review? Please specify:

22

Office Notes: Mentor Contact:

Telephone: Fax: Email: Assessment Date:

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire. Please return to the Researcher at the following address: Mark Dougan Research, Policy & Fundraising Officer UCIT 13-19 Linenhall Street Belfast BT2 8AA T: 028 9-315003 E: markdougan@ucitltd.com

23

APPENDIX B

FOCUS GROUP WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT LIST
Location: Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency Date: 23rd April 2008 The workshop was attended by 7 people representing 7 social enterprises, including: Organisation The Laurels Centre Appleby Trust Mount Zion House Armagh Unemployed Group Kilkeel Development Association Newry City Catering Aerwaves Limited (IUR-fm Community Radio) Representative Yvonne O'Callaghan Elaine Leonard Janice Bunting Maureen Grimley Pamela Houston Gervase Hannaway Shane McBreen


								
To top