Awarded Fund

Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021

In partnership with:

Surf therapy, knitting to promote social cohesion, and combating rural property crime – the social enterprises working to achieve a fairer Ireland.

Shuttle Knit, Social Enterprise Development Fund Awardee 2021

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund being delivered from 2018 – 2022. The fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

On Tuesday, July 27th 2021 Rethink Ireland announced the 34 Awardees of their Social Enterprise Development Fund; 16 enterprises will receive cash grants and business support, and a further 18 projects have been awarded a place on the organisation’s Genesis Programme which provides strategic business support to organisations.


Social Enterprise Development Fund Awardees

Athchúrsáil Árann CGA

Athchúrsáil Árann governs all waste management systems for the three Aran Islands, impacting residents and tourists alike. They provide a comprehensive solution to all waste streams – including landfill, recycling and food waste. Being the only waste management service on the islands, they have over the years been recognized by the Pakman awards for their integral service to the islands.


AwakenHub investigates and challenges the societal issue of why too few women-led businesses reach the same economic scale as that achieved by male-led companies. Their mission is to address the gender funding & supports gap via an Island of Ireland community for women founders. In their first year over 1000 women have signed up to the AwakenHub community and they welcome any women founders or want to be founders to do the same via

Back To Work Connect

Back to Work Connect understand the unique challenges returners, predominantly women, face when re-entering the workforce after an extended period. They provide a dedicated Returner support career hub; identify educational opportunities to bridge skills shortages; as well as practical and tangible career information. They connect with employers who are open to Returners and promote companies that are open to age and gender diversity.

Going Green, KASI Café and Refill Store

KASI is a local NGO based in Killarney and has been providing practical, moral and social support to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and other Migrants since 2000. Their work evolved from providing the necessary services and support to the new communities like providing information, practical help – filling in forms, advocacy work, referrals, outreach work; to organising various social and integration activities; to in recent years setting up social enterprises to create employment through training, placements and employment in the project itself. Their latest social enterprise, Going Green KASI Café and Zero Waste Refill Store, addresses social, economic and environmental issues.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

ReStore empowers families by providing affordable products and services; enabling those with limited resources to make vital improvements to their homes. They serve low income families, divert tons of reusable materials from landfill and provide employability and training support including for vulnerable groups, delivering integrated social, societal and environmental impact.

Helplink Mental Health

Helplink provide accessible mental health counselling, information and education services for all ages. They recognise the lack of access to non-crisis based therapeutic support outside of normal hours, so they provide a suite of therapeutic services 7 days-a-week and an e-learning platform that’s accessible 24/7.

Liquid Therapy

Liquid Therapy is an award winning ‘surf and ocean therapy’ social enterprise based in south County Donegal. They deliver ocean experiences, workshops and an evidence-based tool kit which significantly improve young people’s mental health. Through their 11 programmes, Liquid Therapy supports children and young people to build resiliency, improve social cohesiveness and physical literacy, while also providing a welcoming experience and respite to primary carers.

Moy Innovations

Moy Innovations is a work integration social enterprise/charitable organisation, who combat the imbalance in employment opportunities for people with additional needs, such as mental health or physical/intellectual disabilities in their community of Ballina, which has a high rate of unemployment. They provide employment opportunities, work experience, training, supports and social inclusion to their employees and work experience participants.

Parents Plus

Parents Plus, research, develop and delivers affordable evidence-based parenting, mental health, and educational programmes to strengthen families, by training established services across the public and non-profit sectors to deliver their suite of programmes in their communities. The new Parents Plus Special Needs Programme (PPSN) is the first in the world, evidence-based programme to address the underserved needs of marginalised young people, 12-25 years, with intellectual disabilities and their families. The programme is designed to be delivered by disability services to parents, free of charge and early on in their journey, to empower parents with the proven tools to improve outcomes not just of their child, but all of their family, realise their full potential, belong to, and contribute to an inclusive society.

Property Marking Ireland

Property Marking Ireland combats the high and increasing levels of property theft which have caused an increase in anxiety amongst victims and the wider community, particularly older and more vulnerable populations. Their community-led crime prevention program uses Eircodes to assist in combating rural and urban crime. An item is marked with a unique identifier in a discreet manner, which is difficult to remove, and is less attractive to criminals. This crime prevention program will deter property theft and assist An Garda Siochana in detecting, identifying , and returning stolen or lost property to its rightful owner.

Recycle IT

Recycle IT is a community-based social enterprise specialising in recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) from plugs and batteries to dishwashers and fridges. They offer work placements in the provision of recycling services to assist unemployed people to enter/re-enter the workforce. Their goal is to create a history of skilled work activies for everyone working with them.


REVAMP 3Rstore is a furniture upcycling and reuse project operating in Longford. Established in 1998 to address the issues of high unemployment, poverty, inequality and social exclusion through education/ training, furniture upcycling, with the provision of furniture showroom and transport for collecting furniture suitable for re-use. Through their purpose built training Centre, REVAMP 3RStore evolved from REVAMP Training programme which provided training for long term unemployed youth, in carpentry, tiling, upholstery and additional soft skills.

Shuttle Knit

Shuttle Knit empowers female Travellers by challenging social exclusion and creating employment opportunities and promoting Traveller heritage through the design and creation of knitwear to be sold online, at events and in stores. Shuttle Knit creates long-term, meaningful employment for this marginalized group and create a safe and accepting workplace which contributes to the wellbeing of their staff.

The No Barriers Foundation

At present in Donegal, those with varying levels of disability find it difficult to find appropriate post-care supports once discharged from the HSE. This is resulting in increased social marginalisation as well as physical and mental comorbidities increasing readmission rates. The No Barriers Foundation addresses this lack of accessible and affordable ongoing rehabilitation and health support for their target group, by providing ongoing specialist support services in an affordable manner in a socially inclusive gym environment.

The Walls Project

The Walls Project is an arts agency which tackles urban dereliction and social isolation for marginalised and diverse communities in Ireland, using large scale mural artwork to inspire people & build communities. Their outreach programmes are delivered in close collaboration with local community and educational networks, ensuring maximum engagement and a long reaching impact. They run the annual Waterford Walls festival to promote their urban regeneration work.

Trauma Informed Care in Ireland

Trauma Informed Care recognises that people with experiences of trauma who most need to engage with community, health and social services, are often those who feel least welcome, safe or able to engage in them. Well-intentioned services inadvertently create unsafe and triggering environments for people with traumatic experiences. Through staff training, service-user led assessment and guidance for improvement, Trauma Informed Care in Ireland supports services (clients include social care, health care, community, homeless and housing and others) to address this.

Genesis Programme Projects

Culture Connect CLG

Culture Connect is an intercultural, community Social Enterprise that addresses the barriers that new communities and the host community experience in working and living together. Their services focus on facilitating culturally appropriate services that ensure ongoing support for new communities by promoting mutual understanding, cultural awareness and building positive relations. Using a holistic approach, their services include: Advice and support in different languages, English language classes, Afterschool support, intercultural mediation, interpreting and translation services to schools, agencies and community groups and more.

Anam Beo Arts Organisation

Anam Beo is an independent arts and health organisation that delivers the Offaly Arts, Health and Wellbeing Programme. It provides access, appreciation, awareness and enjoyment for all involved in arts and health initiatives and further advocates for all members of the community to be included in contemporary arts practices and arts production. In doing so, Anam Beo creates social engagements and addresses the difficulties of loneliness, visibility and voice communities have in Offaly. Services are free for older participants, and the arts programme is tailored to group or individual needs.


The Biochar Coop helps farmers and rural dwellers meet Ireland’s Agriculture Green House Gases (GHGs) targets, avoid EU fines and reduce rural carbon taxes. Using biochar in farming reduces GHGs in the short term, sequesters carbon in the soil long-term and creates on and off farm jobs.

Buddy Bench Ireland

Research has found almost 90% of Irish teachers have not been trained in children’s mental health in college, while Ireland rates among the highest for childhood self-harm and suicide compared to the European average. Buddy Bench Ireland strengthens communities by proactively educating primary school students on positive mental well-being with evidence-led lessons on topics like anxiety, resilience, and emotional intelligence.

Carrickmacross Toy Library

Carrickmacross Toy library tackles the issue of toy waste and sustainability by operating similarly to a regular library; providing members with access to high quality, durable toys that are sustainably sourced. A significant proportion of toys, by their very nature, cannot easily be recycled, and many end up in landfill. The Toy library provides access to safe, high quality, age-appropriate toys for families and caregivers of children aged 0-6 via a lending service, unlike any other facility currently open in Ireland.

Clever Little Handies

Clever Little Handies recognizes the sense of isolation for new parents with their lockdown babies. By attending an online Zoom parent and baby class they have an opportunity to alleviate that anxiety and air their grievances and chat amongst peers while learning some tools to help them communicate with their baby. Classes are driven through various libraries to build a sense of community. These classes are parent orientated, opposed to most parent & baby classes which are child orientated.

Education for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability addresses the deficit of climate education in schools by providing young people and teachers with an educational program that equips them with the skills and tools to take action to improve the environment and their community by increasing climate change literacy and fostering behavioral change through action projects. Our teacher training program is designed to equip teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and skills required to teach about environmental issues both confidently and effectively. Our programs promote sustainable living though protection and conservation of the environment.


Fionnathan Productions is a father and son team who are master surfers on the wave toward Inclusion. By asking ‘why not’ and rejecting all fear, they have been able to redirect abundant resources toward creating meaningful, self-directed lives for people with the living experience of disability, and for the people and communities who love them.


OWLS Childrens Nature Charity educates the community about issues centered around the natural environment, our place in it, the damage we are doing and the disappearing interest of nature in young people. From their HQ in Turvey Nature Reserve they aim to run programmes of education, awareness, access and enjoyment to shape unforgettable experiences – to make nature accessible and fun for young children and their families.


There are limited opportunities to volunteer flexibly. Many traditional volunteer opportunities have long application processes and fixed time commitments, and can be hard for everyone to access. Paperchain removes these barriers, allowing anyone to support others in those low moments we all have. Their system allows anyone, anywhere to use the creative practice of letter writing to share real experiences that uplift writer and reader. Paperchain makes it easy to take small actions for others.

Recruit Refugees Ireland

There are over 7000 people living in direct provision centres in Ireland with a constantly growing community of resettled refugees. Recruit Refugees Ireland supports refugees and international protections applicants in the challenges they face in entering the labour market with the jobs they are qualified for. They are building a platform to connect the candidates to employers, and also to collaborate with other organisations.

Recycle your Cycle

Each week, approximately 20 old bikes are discarded in Galway City alone. With the right parts and skills, these can be repaired and sold as an affordable and sustainable means of transport. ReCycle Your Cycle also addresses the need for retraining for those left unemployed after Covid. We teach real, hands-on skills in cycle mechanics and offer on-the-job training in our bike shop, while reducing waste and producing a valuable end-product.

Sligo Northside Film Project

The Sligo Northside Film Project provides upskilling and training in digital media, creating employment opportunities for marginalised and unemployed individuals. They look to bring all elements together to offer services to non-profits, agencies and community groups, while providing students with valuable work experience, under expert supervision and support as they develop skills and gain experience working with clients. These services are unique in offering the only accredited video production course in the Sligo/Leitrim region and provide progression supports to education and employment.

The Big Idea

Creative thinking connects existing learning and leaves room for discovery. It is a valuable life-skill applicable to all future professions, even those not invented yet. The B!G iDEA has been developed by award-winning creative professionals, and offer an innovative 15-week creative empowered programme delivering key skills, active learning experiences and more for Transition Year students. They are the only Irish, creative-focused, free programme with top industry mentors.

The Dialogue Code

The Dialogue Code supports women in the challenges they experience in being able to access work or to stay in the workplace with family and life commitments by working with organisations and groups that are on the threshold of change, stuck or curious about bringing change in issues that continue to impact women in the workplace. They host experiential virtual and physical dialogue workshops allowing participants and workplace leaders to get clarity on the real issues and challenges that need to be changed in order to create workplaces allowing everyone to thrive. The Dialogue Code is a unique proven process for inclusive, meaningful discussion leading to collective clarity for impact decision making for change.

The Health Hub

The Health Hub runs fitness classes along with food programmes, and by doing so promotes greater access to affordable nutritious food and affordable fitness amenities for people living in Limerick city. The majority of local convenient food options are fast-food takeaways and the majority of nearby gyms charge double of what we do for classes. A greater likelihood of developing certain illnesses is linked to being from an area of lower socioeconomic background, the Health Hub looks to alleviate this with their social enterprise.

The Soul Sanctuary

Soul Sanctuary provides the space, facilities and targeted education required to help people experience the benefits of connection with the natural environment, unlike current outdoor community spaces in the area. Through facilitation of this connection with and education about our interdependence with all life forms in our natural environment, and how to interact symbiotically and sustainably with this environment, we aim to enhance mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing, which is often caused or made worse by lack of contact with nature. We believe that this will be of immense benefit to the Gorey population and surrounding local communities aswell as others from further afield. We also hope that this may provide a template for others to follow in their own local communities and to be an ongoing resource for other similar endeavours

Treo Nua Resource Centre

The Treo Nua Resource Centre provides accessible and affodable room rental to the wider and local community in Portlaoise for target groups like one parent families, travelling community, older people and training rooms. Their 3 services provided by are Portlaoise Family Resource Centre, HSE and Laois County Council. They also have a Cafe which caters at low prices to the local community as opposed to expensive cafes in the town. Treo Nua have become a mainstay in the local community over the last number of years and developed an excellent rapport with all service users from babies through to the elderly in the locality.