Sinn Féin Enterprise and Investment Committee member, Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Foyle) has called on DETI Minister, Arlene Foster to promote local entrepreneurial endeavor through the Social Economy.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
“The contribution of Social enterprises to our local economy cannot be underestimated. Social Enterprises are embedded in the community and are not subject to the greed and profit approaches of the Market driven economy. They play a vital part in business growth and reinvestment in local job creation and community stability.
“While I appreciate the efforts by the Minister to attract inward investment and jobs in the emerging technologies – and they are needed -I believe that if a percentage of the grants being offered to multinational conglomerates with no long-term commitment to society or community here, were to be made available for the establishment and support of Social Enterprises that we could create hundreds of jobs accompanied by long-term certainty.
“Giving support by creating the environment that will encourage local people and community groups to come forward with imaginative business ideas will play an important role in regenerating communities and rebalancing our economy.
“With proper financial and mentoring facilities available to support and encourage indigenous entrepreneurs in the Social network to offer jobs and skills to the most disadvantaged, the disabled and those who feel let down by the status quo we could address many of the weaknesses in present policies.
“While the measures in place through the Executive’s Programme for Government and Economic Strategy are designed to see the social economy sector grow over the coming years I believe that urgent action by the Minister could kick start our local economy.”