Brexit is a significant challenge for enterprises in Ireland and the UK and social enterprises involved in international trade are not immune. The uncertainty places constraints on what enterprises and social enterprises can do in terms of forward planning and development. In the context of the InTSEnSE project social enterprises who are trading or planning to trade internationally may face resource constraints to address the recommended Brexit Testing which needs to be done to be ready for the new trading arrangements which will emerge. While there are many supports in Ireland for traditional SMEs to get “Brexit Ready” (https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Brexit-Information/) there is potential for Social Enterprises to miss out of some of these supports.
While there will be many challenges there will also be new opportunities in terms of diversification considerations and new business solutions which will emerge. It also highlights the need to reflect on the treatment of social enterprises in terms of taxation, and trade regulations. LIT continues to work with relevant stakeholders and partners to promote the role of Social Enterprises and to recommend that they are not “left behind” in the post Brexit world.