Signposting

Here you will find information and links to organisations who can provide a wide range of support for your Social Innovation.

Amplify NI
Amplify NI is an initiative of the Young Foundation which works with communities to help them tell their stories and come up with innovative ideas which can then be scaled up to achieve social change.
Innovation Lab NI
Established in 2014, the NI Innovation Lab sits within the Northern Ireland Civil Service Department of Finance (DoF). The Lab responds to challenges where effective service provision for the public has proved most difficult. It aims to improve public services by creating new and ground-breaking innovations through transformation and invention.
Entrepreneurial Spark
Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures.  E-spark have opened a ‘hatchery’ in Belfast in partnership with Ulster Bank that provides entrepreneurs with free office space and takes them through a cognitive and action centred development process.  The Entrepreneurial Spark programme lasts for 6 months and can continue for up to 18 months.
Cooperative Alternatives
Co-operative Alternatives aims to develop and support a strong co-op movement connected across the island of Ireland and doing business in a fair, just and ethical way. They are Northern Ireland’s leading co-operative development agency offering high quality support and expert knowledge to existing and emerging co-operatives. They are the delivery agent for the Building Change Trust’s Community Shares Ready! programme.
Health Innovation Fund
This is a Department of Health Innovation fund which will provide up to £1million in 2016/17 for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations to help tackle long standing health and social care problems that just won’t go away. The amount of funding available is expected to rise to £4.5million in 2018/19.
Big Lottery Fund’s Accelerating Ideas Programme
With Accelerating Ideas, the Big Lottery Fund want to support the development of great ideas and build on good practice across Northern Ireland. Moving away from from applications that are only paper-based to something that is more engaging and conversational, they want to fund projects that are developing and using successful approaches to tackling local issues in communities and we want to increase the impact of projects funded by us or others.
Social Enterprise Hubs
The NI Social Enterprise Hubs  are a project of the NI Executive  to provide support to social enterprises including training and mentoring, office space, retail space and conference/meeting facilities. All potential social enterprises can avail of a range of advice and support.
The NI social enterprise hubs are available to all new or existing social enterprises with an idea for a new product or service. There are 11 hubs located over the nine Social Investment Fund (SIF) zones in Northern Ireland.
They are located in Enniskillen, Strabane, Derry~Londonderry, Ballymena, Lisburn, Downpatrick, Lurgan, North Belfast, South Belfast, East Belfast and West Belfast.
UnLtd
UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world. UnLtd resources hundreds of individuals each year through its core Awards programme.
UnLtd operates a unique model by investing directly in individuals and offering a complete package of resources; from awards of funding to ongoing advice, networking and practical support.
Nominet Trust
Nominet Trust is the UK’s biggest ‘social tech’ funder, they bring together, invest in and support people making imaginative use of technology to address complex social challenges.
Nominet Trust was established as a charitable foundation in 2008 by Nominet. Nominet is an international internet company delivering public benefit and to date, Nominet has donated £39 million to Nominet Trust.
The NT 100 index is published each year and is a great source of inspiration for those interested in using digital technology for social impact.
Nesta Impact Investments
Nesta Impact Investments want to see the power of innovation and technology used to solve major social problems, bringing the benefits of innovation to everyone in society. They help to do this by investing in ventures with inclusive and scalable innovations that are run by outstanding entrepreneurs. They are an experienced team of sector experts, venture capitalists, impact investors and evaluators backed by a strong, innovative institution – Nesta.
Social Housing Enterprise Programme
The Housing Executive’s Social Housing Enterprise Investment programme, along with other resources, provide opportunities for individual and groups to get access to financial assistance and guidance in relation to helping create training, employment and other opportunities, revitalising how we engage and encourage those within communities to come engage with us and other statutory service providers and developing additional services and facilities which are of added value to social housing communities.