The Flax Trust

Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise 2015

The School for Social Enterprises in Ireland (SSEI) is the sole organisation in Ireland devoted exclusively to leadership, management and business development programmes and events for the social economy sector. Founded in 2005, SSEI was formed as a strategic alliance between The Flax Trust and Ulster University, designed to promote sustainable community enterprise and economic development in Ireland.

2015 Graduates in the Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise

Picture1 Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise 2015

Picture2 Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise 2015

Prof Marie McHugh, Dean, Ulster University Business School, welcomes ADSE 2015 Participants

Picture3 Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise 2015

2015 Cohort Induction Day and Module 1

The Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise is a one-year social enterprise development programme designed specifically for individuals who wish to develop a new social enterprise or those in existing community organisations and charities who are trying to diversify their income streams through business development.



The Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise (ADSE) commenced in January 2015 with some 20 participants successfully gaining a place and a Flax Trust Bursary. A total of 31 individuals from across the social enterprise sector had expressed an interest in in the ADSE but for various reasons such as future job certainty, the lack of ‘in organisation support’ and the realisation of the rigours of the programme these individuals were not offered or could not take up a place.

As with previous cohorts there is a stimulating mix of experience, personal backgrounds and areas of interest. When this is combined with the academic and visiting exemplars, the participants will experience a rich blend of theory and practice leading to their personal development and the growth of their organisation or enterprise. Over the years this twin approach has been evidenced through the production of enterprise ideas which have been nurtured through to robust business plans.

In addition, there is significant peer to peer learning and networking. The ADSE 2015 cohort has individuals from the following social enterprise activities and a range of organisational or legal entities (Social Enterprise, Community Organisations, Charitable Organisations, Enterprise Development and Development Trusts)

  • Business Enterprise & Enterprise Development for Social Purpose
  • Social Housing & Housing Rights
  • Training and Employment (Jobs & Placements)
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Community Engagement and provision of services

The majority of organisations represented are based in the greater Belfast area though a number have a Northern Ireland wide remit with two participants coming from the Republic of Ireland.  The ADSE 2015 Cohort represent organisations that are currently operating as a social enterprise or have a desire to establish a social enterprise to help deliver products and services that meet social needs and increased economic benefit for individuals and communities. In most cases the primary focus of the organisations represented on the programme is to provide products and services that reach out to those who are marginalised or disadvantaged.