Social Innovation Fund Ireland Announces New Social Enterprise Development Fund

A new €1.6m fund to support social enterprises in Ireland has been established by Social Innovation Ireland (SIFI), in partnership with Local Authorities of Ireland.

Called the Social Enterprise Development Fund, the fund will be delivered over the course of two years and up to eight successful applicants 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.

There will also be additional places 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.

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…”

This support from the Department of Rural and Community Development for the Social Enterprise Development Fund forms part of the 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.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said: “Over the past two years Social Innovation Fund Ireland granted €2.475 million in supports to social innovations in education, homelessness, health and positive ageing.

This is our sixth fund and builds on our past successes in supporting enterprises that are tackling social disadvantage and exclusion.  The Social Enterprise Development Fund will allow successful applicants to grow sustainable enterprises that are rooted in local communities and create solutions for a better Ireland.

We are delighted to partner with the local authorities and their mutual insurance company, IPB, in launching this fund.”

Social enterprises tend to be set in the heart of rural and urban communities. Typically, they provide local services, such as tourism services or social services, and so jobs are created in local communities, providing an important economic impact.

In addition to job creation, social enterprises create significant social impact through service provision in sectors such as childcare, eldercare, home help, recycling, and others.  They play a particularly important role in areas of market failure for social services such as in rural areas.

Further details are available on www.socialinnovation.ie