The Flax Trust

New development with the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Ireland

Flax Trust and the University of Ulster have announced an exciting new development with regard to the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Ireland.

Since its inception almost 200 students have achieved a range of qualifications including: the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice for third sector managers; the Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise; and the MSc in Executive Leadership for Directors and Senior Executives charged with shaping the future of the Social Economy.

As a next phase in supporting the sector’s development, SSEI will continue to facilitate the provision of third level management education as well as spawning initiatives to support organisational development within social enterprises. Recognising that many social enterprises are characterised by a long gestation period and are limited with regard to scale of operations, SSEI’s core agenda will be extended to include the promotion of growth through innovation and internationalisation.

To help achieve the vision of a vibrant and healthy third sector playing its rightful role in the economic mix, SSEI programmes will become more fully aligned with the extensive portfolio of provision for the community & voluntary sector offered by the Ulster Business School’s Business Institute.

The Flax Trust America Board, at a meeting in New York in October, agreed to take on an advisory role to support SSEI’s strategic vision and, in addition, the Board, pledged support in the form of University of Ulster bursaries to assist with the upskilling of the social economy sector in Northern Ireland. Perhaps more importantly than the bursary support, the prestigious Flax Trust America Board has pledged to open its networks to SSEI students.  Earlier this year for example, Flax Trust America made possible a study visit for Ulster students to Fordham University in New York.  The delegation, led by Alan Christie, Course Director for the MSc in Executive Leadership, had an opportunity to visit community development projects and exchange ideas on how best to grow the sector. Linkages such as these are invaluable for staff and students from both sides of the Atlantic.

Professor Jackie McCoy, Director of the Business Institute and one of the founder members of SSEI, stated, “I am delighted with the new developments; the support of Flax Trust America signals a new era with huge potential for innovative collaborations that will raise everyone’s game. Mainstream government financial assistance for management development within the third sector is becoming increasingly difficult to secure and we are experiencing social enterprises having to turn down highly sought after places on the Business School’s executive programmes due to lack of support. The Flax Trust Bursary Scheme couldn’t have come at a better time.”

For more details on the Flax Trust Bursary Scheme please click on the link below.