The Social Enterprise Development Fund (2018 – 2023) is a €4.4 million Fund 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 that aims to discover and enhance social enterprises that are already creating a social and economic impact on their communities.
On August 11th 2022 Rethink Ireland announced the 8 Awardees of its Social Enterprise Development Fund with the aim to support and develop social enterprises across Ireland who work primarily to improve the lives of people and communities.
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, the community garden, connects all their social enterprises but has also proven to be the most fruitful ground for migrant community integration into the wider society through shared gardening experiences.
No Barriers Foundation assists those with varying levels of disability who find it difficult to find appropriate post-care support after being discharged from the HSE, their lack of aftercare support 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.
Together Razem Centre supports those in the Polish and Eastern European migrant community facing problems related to marginalisation, exclusion and isolation in Ireland. The centre offers advocacy, social and legal advice, mental health support and educational programmes for children and adults, enabling the Polish community to be a more cohesive part of the Irish community. One of their key goals is to provide reliable information in Polish, Ukrainian and Romanian about current Irish and European affairs through a website which is the only one of its kind in Ireland today.
Way 2 Work Ireland is a mentor-based supported employment program developed in collaboration with Tusla to assist young people aged 16 to 21 who have been in care. The organisation promotes and supports opportunities for young people to engage in training, education, and work, as well as establishing specialised and individual training and employment programs to enable young people to achieve full autonomy in their life and overcome poverty and marginalisation.
Books at One is a network of community bookshops run by local people to address the social and economic decline that many areas in Ireland are experiencing. The absence of investment in facilities for intergenerational socialising outside of pubs and sports clubs is a key emphasis for the organisation. Books at One is currently opening a new store in Dublin, as well as developing engaging activities for local schoolchildren, teachers, and families to enjoy and benefit from free reading events and workshops.
Common Knowledge empowers people with the skills and solutions needed to address some of our most basic needs for a sustainable life: affordable, sustainable housing and greater self-sufficiency at home. They do this through hands-on learning programmes, research and community initiatives focused on areas like building, growing and making. Their founding team have taught 200+ people through their ‘Build School’ since 2020, and in 2022 will expand their reach significantly.
An Mheithal Rothar focuses on providing bicycles to those who do not have access to cycling, particularly those who are unable to participate in the Bike to Work program, while also creating an impact on the areas of employment and sustainability. Their one-of-a-kind approach combines recycling and waste reduction with delivering affordable bikes, as well as personalised information sharing and problem solutions for each user.
Generation Ireland promotes job opportunities for people who face structural hurdles to employment. They accomplish this through a prepare-place-support model, in which they provide classes and subsequent help to job seekers in industries where there is a high need for workers, developing the modules together with potential employers.