Awarded Fund

Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund 2022

Social enterprises that are working to achieve a fairer Ireland.

The Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund, now in its second year, is an €800,000 Fund developed by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

On August 11th 2022 Rethink Ireland announced the 20 Awardees of its Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund with the aim to support social enterprises at the startup and early stage of existence, with organisations from 10 counties throughout Ireland recognised as Awardees. 


Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund 2022 Awardees

The Dialogue Code

The Dialogue Code was set up to address the barriers women face when trying to stay in employment and advance their careers while also having time for and with their families. The social enterprise is founded on the insight that to address these obstacles, workplaces and thus employers need to gain an understanding of the challenges their female employees face. They facilitate this process by hosting experiential workshops to foster meaningful and inclusive discussions about the topic, ultimately resulting in collective clarity.

The Good Summit

The Good Summit is an events–based platform that inspires people to take positive actions in their communities and workplaces to build sustainable social change. The event brings together students and change–makers from a wide variety of disciplines and increases external awareness of compelling issues. Society is at a precipice where increasing numbers of people are becoming more socially aware and desiring to make the world a better place. No one group of people has all the answers, but together we are better.

Open Food Network

Open Food Network Ireland is an open source, community-owned software platform built for selling food. It can be either a shopfront for individual enterprises or a community hub of farmers and other local producers working together. Operating in 20 countries, Open Food Network are part of a worldwide movement to rebuild resilient local food systems in a sustainable, fair and transparent way.

Carrickmacross Toy Library

Carrickmacross Toy Library is a standalone facility, promoting play and tackling the problem of toy waste. Run and staffed entirely by volunteers, in addition to a toy lending service, the Toy Library offers ‘stay and play’ and themed pop-up play sessions. The Toy Library will continue to grow its membership over the next three years, as well as serve as a model for community toy libraries elsewhere in Ireland.

Clare Community Energy Agency

Clare Community Energy Agency supports individual homeowners and community groups in the energy transition. They provide technical experience and project management skills to advise people on what the relevant technical solutions are for increased energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. They also advise on what existing grants are available and accompany the homeowners/groups from start to finish.

Common Ground

Common Ground Community-Led Housing has been working in response to the housing crisis in Ireland since 2018. The project offers a win-win solution for State bodies, households and the wider community for developing a new housing sector for our country. Their replicable and internationally proven model makes housing more attainable, community-focused and sustainable, for the benefit of everyone. They offer a viable proposal for a pilot scheme in North County Wicklow which aims to be the first of its kind in Ireland and to offer a template for other groups around the country to help achieve a similar goal.

Community Retrofits

Community Retrofits Ireland offer a one-stop-shop for retrofitting in the Connemara area. They do this by providing training and employment to those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage in a rural Gaeltacht area.

Cycle Up

Roscommon Women’s Network (RWN) supports women through engagement, active participation, building capacity, and empowerment. They meet women where they are at, supporting collective action to find solutions to their needs and concerns. Their textiles project addresses textile waste through supporting the hardest to reach women to engage. CycleUp trains and empowers women to generate and take-up employment in the circular economy while protecting the environment in a rural context.

Gorm Media

Gorm Media DAC is a digital media social enterprise with a mission to unify across social, political and cultural differences, and advance belonging for marginalised communities. In aiding in the SDG 10, reducing inequality, Gorm’s vision is to spark a movement of unity and shared understanding through innovative digital media, events and education that captures the stories, nuances, and experiences of diverse individuals in order to unify across differences. They believe that differences do not mean division and common ground can be built through open conversation and shared understanding.

Health Hub

The Learning Hub works in partnership with parents, education providers, statutory agencies and the wider Limerick community to provide a safe, welcoming and inspiring learning environment where young people can reach their true potential. They prioritize children attending local DEIS schools but aim to reserve over 40% of their place for children from other areas of the city attending non DEIS schools also. They have a waiting list for many of their after school programmes and registration happens in early September each year. They are based in Kileely and are 10 mins walk from the city centre and have a wonderful view of the Shannon.


KindFolk offers people the opportunity to buy, sell and donate high quality preloved children’s clothes in a socially and environmentally responsible way. KindFolk’s social mission is to raise much needed funding for vulnerable children living in Direct Provision and Emergency Accommodation Centres in Cork whose mental health and personal development are negatively impacted by their challenging living conditions. KindFolk’s mission is both social and environmental as it aims to tackle the fast fashion crisis which exists in children’s fashion by offering eco conscious parents a circular and more sustainable way of shopping for their children’s clothes.

New Wave Wild Project

New Wave Wild Project design and deliver professional adventure therapy programmes with young people, adults, and families, offering a blend of professional therapeutic interventions with adventures in natural blue and green spaces. They take an integrative psychotherapeutic approach (supported by backgrounds in social work, education, psychology, and psychotherapy, CBT) and provide innovative and unique experiences of therapy that focus on engagement, and meeting the participant as an individual; where they are at.

Pocket Forests

Pocket Forests is an award-winning social enterprise working to reconnect people with nature. Pocket Forests leads education workshops to help communities rejuvenate soil and plant native trees and shrubs in densely planted urban forests.
Pocket Forests has partnered with The Digital Hub, Coillte Nature, the Woodland Support Fund of The Department of Agriculture, Dublin City Council, UCD Innovation Academy, The Irish Prison Service, ChangeX and Stryker Medical in Cork.

Rise at the Cove

Rise at the Cove is a social enterprise cafe based in Greystones, Wicklow. They provide employment and supports for people in the final stages of their addiction recovery programme.

Saoirse Ethnic Hands on Deck

Saoirse Ethnic Hands on Deck, is a peer-led social enterprise, selling various crafts handmade by migrant women, while also providing formal artisanal craft training. Their mission is to make stylish, high quality products which promote fairness and community benefit.

Smashing Times

Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality produces an annual and multi-annual inter-disciplinary arts programme with a focus on equality, diversity and human rights. All artistic mediums are supported with a focus on the performing and collaborative arts including theatre, film, visual arts, dance and music. Smashing Times has vast experience conducting arts-based projects both nationally and internationally and has a global reputation for excellence in relation to using professional and socially engaged arts practice to promote human rights.

The Bike Hub

The Bike Hub is an inclusive community focused bicycle workshop which upcycles and provides free bikes along with bike mechanic & safe cycling training to marginalized and dis-advantaged people, along with providing an accessible bicycle fleet to people with disabilities.

The Sustainable Life School

The Sustainable Life School is a new social enterprise founded by Diane O’Connor and Nathalie Pavone with the mission to support and inspire individuals, communities, and businesses to live more sustainably and to empower those who are concerned about the climate crisis by taking action. Through their signature program, tailored classes, resources and a growing community, the Sustainable Life School community is here to create happier lives for a happier planet.

Trauma Responsive Education

Children and young people affected by trauma often have difficulties in remaining in school, being misunderstood and sometimes even re-traumatised by the system and yet they know education is a powerful protective factor mitigating the impact of trauma in later life. At Trauma Responsive Education they equip school staff with the mindset and tools to create safety and positive learning environments for these students to flourish and fulfill their potential.