12 months ago, local social entrepreneur Sean Bruen was working as a financial advisor but saw a gap in the market for an organisation providing the community with access to free, trusted financial advice. With the assistance of the West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub, Kith and Kin was launched in 2016.
Kith and Kin is a Social Enterprise providing access to financial advice to individuals and employees of large companies and organisations. The first social enterprise of its kind in Northern Ireland the business gives access to financial advice that is easy to understand with a personal touch.
Sean Bruen, CEO commented:
“At Kith and Kin Financial Wellbeing we wanted to give access to financial advice as if we were giving it to our Family or Friends, our “Kith and Kin”. The social enterprise element is extremely important for me, providing complimentary, unbiased advice for individuals while remaining profitable to allow us to invest social good and have a positive impact on the local community.
To date we have assisted over 200 individuals with help on Mortgages, Life Cover, Income Protection, Savings & Investments and Pensions.”
Based in the NICVA Building, Duncairn Gardens and currently employing one member of staff, Sean has been working closely with many public and private sector organisations to highlight the impact finances can have on employees and subsequently business performance:
“Research shows 8% staff have taken 1 day off per year due to financial stress. To put this into context taker the Health Service in Northern Ireland as a major local employer. With 67,000 staff this could potentially represent 5,360 taking 1 day off per year due to financial worries.
The aim of the services we offer is to make financial planning more accessible and easy to understand. The advice we can provide allows employers to give their staff an outlet to approach for their financial well-being, reducing stress levels to create a more productive and happier workforce. Over the past year we have been delighted to present our business to companies including NI Assembly, Queens University, Allstate and Southern Health Trust.”
The West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub have assisted Sean in growing Kith and Kin from an idea into a growing business. From initially helping Kith and Kin with their legal structure, governance and business plan the hub has continued to provide support and guidance over the last year.
We have also in our 1st year been nominated for 2 awards by Social Enterprise NI, rented our 1st office, taken on an employee, gave over 50 presentations to employers who represent over 25,000 employees,
Stephanie Reid, West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub Manager commented:
“It has been a delight to help Kith and Kin on their business journey over the past year. From the creative sessions even helping with the company name through to funding successes it has been a privilege to assist Sean throughout the business progression.
The Social Enterprise network is continuing to grow and thrive across Northern Ireland having a truly positive impact on areas such as social and economic regeneration, health and well-bring and community relations.
Kith and Kin are a shining example of how social enterprises can be both enterprising and profit making in their form why remaining true to their social core in giving back and assisting individuals where possible. Sean’s strategic focus, professional experience and genuine want to help people means we can see Kith and Kin continuing to grow from strength to strength.”
“I can safely say without the help of the Social Enterprise Hub and Stephanie we would not be where we are today with premises, a growing business, over 200 happy clients and diversifying business ideas.
We aim to expand into the Estate Agency business in 2017, providing the community with access to Sales & Renting services from a Social Enterprise – this will be the first in its kind in the UK. Plus, we have the opportunity to present to large public sector organisations in January 2017 which means hopefully by the end of quarter 1 2017 over 100,000 employees will have access to our advice and guidance.”
West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub
At the West Belfast Social Enterprise we are committed to helping your social enterprise grow! We have ongoing workshops and seminars tailored to a social enterprise setting plus hold many external events from public bodies.
We can provide:
- Meeting / Training Facilities Business Planning Budget Management Tools Business Training
- Sales and Marketing Advice Practical Advice
- Legal Structure Guidance Mentoring
- Governance Assistance Networking Events And much more!!
Find out more on our range services here!