A new €1.6m fund to support social enterprises in Ireland has been established.
A new €1.6m fund to support social enterprises in Ireland has been established by Social Innovation Ireland (SIFI), in partnership with Leitrim County Council and all 31 Local Authorities across Ireland.
The Fund is financed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, from the Dormant Accounts Fund and IPB Insurance.
Called the Social Enterprise Development Fund, the fund will be delivered over the course of two years and up to eight successful applicants per year will each receive a grant of €50,000 to invest in growing their organisation. In addition to the cash grant, the successful applicants will also receive a place on Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s six-month Accelerator programme. Additional places will be reserved for the most promising social enterprises across all 31 Local Authorities in Ireland. The programme is designed to help social enterprises develop their business skills and to provide them with ongoing peer support and advice so that they develop sustainable enterprises that have a powerful impact in their community. The fund is now open for applications from social enterprises in County Leitrim.
Launching the Social Enterprise Development Fund, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne, T.D said, “The Government is committed to supporting social enterprise in Ireland. Social enterprises create jobs while also encouraging and delivering positive changes in communities across the country. Every euro that is donated in private philanthropy is matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund. With this approach, we are helping to scale social innovation.
“I’m delighted to launch the Social Enterprise Development Fund from Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) and thank IPB Insurance for their vision in supporting its establishment.”
This support from the Department of Rural and Community Development for the Social Enterprise Development Fund forms part of Minister Kyne’s focus on supporting the social enterprise sector. The Minister is also preparing a National Policy on Social Enterprise which he will bring to Government for approval shortly. Minister Kyne has recently taken responsibility for the Community Services Fund which also assists social enterprises.
Joseph Gilhooly, Acting Chief Executive of Leitrim County Council, said: “This new fund will complement the range of supports available from local authorities for social enterprises that have a sustainable business model. The Social Enterprise Development Fund presents a great opportunity for social enterprises in the county to achieve their goals and ultimately create a measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland.”
John Evoy, founder of Men’s Sheds has been appointed the Manager of the Social Enterprise Development Fund. The fund will be open for applications from January 24th to March 28th, 2018 and the winners will be informed in June 2018. Further details are available on www.socialinnovation.ie or www.leitrimcoco.ie.