Pictured are George Jones, Chairman, IPB Insurance; Joe Lowe, Leitrim Enterprise Office; Brian Smyth of Social Farming Ireland and Anne Dermody of SIFI.
A Leitrim-based social enterprise project, Social Farming Ireland, is one of the eight winners of the €1.6m Social Enterprise Development Fund.
Social Farming Ireland provides nationwide farm outcome-based placements for a range of people including people with disabilities and those recovering from mental ill health.
Social Farming Ireland is the link between the farms and the service providers whose clients attend placements on the farms.
The fund was set up to support social enterprises from across the country to achieve their goals and create measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland.
The €1.6 million fund, created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland, is supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Chosen from over 100 applicants from almost every county in Ireland, 8 successful awardees, made up of a mixture of urban, town and rural social enterprises, will not only receive a cash grant of €50,000, but will also land a place on Ireland’s most prestigious Accelerator Programme for social enterprises.
Joseph Gilhooly, Director of services at Leitrim County Council, said: “Social Enterprises hold the key to creating sustainable communities across Ireland and these awardees are excellent examples of how social enterprises such as theirs are achieving these goals. “We are delighted to partner with Social Innovation Fund Ireland in creating this fund and to host this inspiring event.”