‘Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy’ in Northern Ireland
A new charter, Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy ‘sets out key steps to harness the power of communities to create resilient local economies’. Developed by Development Trusts Northern Ireland (DTNI) in collaboration with CLES with the support of Friends Provident Foundation and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, ‘it builds on what is already happening in communities across Northern Ireland and seeks to influence new thinking in order to create an inclusive local economy’.
The charter describes an inclusive economy as an approach which ‘embraces people and communities as active players in wealth creation’, focusing not on external investment but on ‘what we already have and how we build from within’. It is an economy that focuses on ‘community wealth building, social justice, environmental sustainability and prosperity for all’ and its end goal is ‘human wellbeing within environmental limits based on the premise that social, economic and environmental issues are interconnected’.
The charter sets out its policy recommendations through what it calls the ‘ABCD of an inclusive economy’: advancing community power ‘to facilitate and enable meaningful local relationships across the public, social and commercial sectors’. Building community wealth is the second focus, through recognising and building on communities’ strengths and favouring local ownership of business activities. It also advocates ‘commissioning and procuring for social value’ and ‘developing finance to support local economies’.
Alongside its recommendations, the charter also seeks ‘to frame the work of DTNI member and third sector organisations within a wider economic agenda’, and includes four case studies of organisations across Northern Ireland whose mission and purpose align with that of an inclusive economy. These include a social enterprise which supports ‘women, children and young people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence and abuse’ and a community foundation that has ‘set up a mechanism to re-circulate finance within their area of influence and prevent wealth seeping out of the county’.
Read the charter here.