Rethink Ireland is delighted to announce the continuation of its Social Enterprise Development Fund with an additional investment of €1.2 million set to be awarded from 2022-2023.
The additional €1.2 million investment builds on our existing €3.2 million partnership to create a legacy Fund of €4.4 million. This new Fund focuses on continued seed funding for start-up social enterprises, elevated funding for enterprises at the next stage and offering a Business Course across all Local Authority regions in Ireland.
The Social Enterprise Development Fund was created in 2018 by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
IPB Insurance is an Irish-owned general insurance company which protects and supports their local authority members and their communities across Ireland.
In addition to the Social Enterprise Development Fund, we are also offering the Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund for a second year. This Fund is specifically for you if you had an income of less than €100,000 in 2021. For more information please click here.
The objective of the Fund is to find and back social enterprises that add to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact.
The Fund will provide critical support to the most innovative and impactful social enterprises across Ireland, helping them to:
A social enterprise is a business that works primarily to improve the lives of people. Its business is social good.
Social enterprises are organisations whose mission is to have a positive effect on society. Social Enterprises are at the heart of facing the greatest social challenges in Ireland. They are professional and experienced, and use business skills and clever thinking to bridge the gaps in our society. The money they make from their work is used to grow what they do so that they can reach all the people in society who need their help.
Social enterprises are innovating every day by inventing and developing solutions to Ireland’s most pressing social issues. They are creating meaningful jobs, tackling inequalities and supporting community development. We believe there is a need to foster and invest in these social enterprises to allow them to grow and spread their solutions throughout the country.
The Social Enterprise Development Fund 2022 now provides the opportunity to participate in a Start a Social Enterprise Business Course, as well as the chance to receive an Award including a cash grant, business supports budget and a place on our Accelerator Programme. The addition of the Business Course offering ensures that the Fund provides vital supports to a wider number of social enterprises across the sector tailored to their stage of development.
The different options are outlined in more detail below, including details on eligibility criteria and the application process.
To find out more about what the Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund offers, please follow this link.
In 2022, the fund offers (up to) 8 Awardees an Awards package of €30,000:
Up to 8 Social Enterprises will receive a package of supports worth a maximum of €30,000 each in total. This will include cash grants of €22,500, paid in two instalments upon delivery of agreed milestones.
Business Support Budget
In addition, Awardees will receive a budget for business supports worth €7,500 each. Business supports will be tailored to the specific needs of each project and carried out by approved consultants, focusing on creating social impact in line with their theory of change and strategic plan.
All successful applicants will win a place on Ireland’s first National Accelerator Programme specifically designed for social enterprises. The Accelerator Programme will equip social enterprises with the skills they need to scale and deepen their social impact.
The intensive and practical six-month Programme provides training from best-in-class experts in the private, nonprofit and public sector on key functions such as Strategic Planning, Impact Measurement, Financial Management, Governance, Business Modelling, Pitching, Storytelling and more.
“Rethink Ireland helped us set out clear indicators for growth across our social, economic and environmental impact. The marketing support helped to generate leads in almost every county in Ireland. After working with Rethink Ireland our vision changed from working on a regional level to becoming a national social enterprise.”
Martin Ward, Bounce Back Recycling
“I know we’ll be able to deliver on our ambitious strategic plan because we’ve such a great foundation now in terms of our structure, which was why it was great getting the non-financial support as well the cash. For us, the mixture of the two was just perfect and we were delighted with both.”
Helen Nolan, Spraoi agus Spórt
b) Start a Social Enterprise Business Course Participation
In 2022, the Fund will offer places on a first of its kind Start a Social Enterprise Business Course. This course will take an emerging idea and give the participants the tools to take the idea to the next stage. It will be the launch pad for the idea and also, importantly, a pathway to additional supports.
The course will be aimed at:
The Fund offers a place on the Business Course which will be held online over two months and run twice during 2022 for up to 50 participants. The seven modules will equip participants with the skills and tools to make informed decisions regarding the start-up of their social enterprise. Those that are ready to start a social enterprise and have attended all seven modules, can, upon completion of the course, apply for cash grants. Up to five graduates from each course will receive an Award.
a) For a cash grant:
We invite applications from social enterprises that:
*Social enterprises can sit within larger not-for-profit organisations, such as charities and voluntary organisations
b) For the Start a Social Enterprise Business Course
We invite applications from
Places will be awarded on a first-come basis.
If you feel like you fall between these two offerings in terms of eligibility criteria, please check out the Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund, which supports early-stage social enterprises with an income of below €100,000 in 2021.
Stage 1: Applications open from 20th January to 11th March 2022
Applications are open from Thursday, 20th January until Friday, 11th March 2022. At this point, applicants are invited to complete an application form. Based on this initial form, Rethink Ireland will identify a shortlist of applicants who have met the required criteria. These applicants will be invited to an interview.
We will hold the first application clinic on Friday, 4th February from 1pm to 2pm under this link.
Stage 2: Interviews
Finalists will be invited for an interview which will take place between Monday, 11th April and Friday, 22nd April 2022.
The Start a Social Enterprise Business Course is now fully booked. We are still accepting expressions of interest for the waiting list, which we will revisit in chronological order where places become available. The course will also reopen for applications later in 2022.
What is expected of Awardees?
Awardees will be expected to take part in a six-month Accelerator Programme, with a minimum of two days per week devoted to working on your awarded social enterprise. The Business Course will be delivered virtually over two months for approximately six mornings (10am-1pm). A half-day in-person seminar will also be held if allowed under restrictions.
Can you make more than one application?
Yes, there is nothing stopping your organisation making more than one application for separate social enterprises. However, it is very unlikely that we will fund more than one social enterprise from any organisation. Please note that you cannot apply with the same social enterprise for both the Business Course, a SED cash grant and/or a Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund Award.
What do you mean by innovation?
At Rethink Ireland, we define social innovation as the successful delivery of new approaches to meet social needs more effectively and sustainably than those currently available.
Just as innovation is necessary for economic growth, we believe innovation is critical to societal and economic progress.
What do you mean by income created?
Traded income is that which is generated from the sale of goods and services. It includes contracts (service level agreements) with state bodies or other state/semi-state bodies where clear deliverables are completed in exchange for a fee. It does not include fundraising income, donation income, or cash grants from government / philanthropic organisations.
If your social enterprise is part of a bigger (parent) organisation, you may need to differentiate between the income generated by both entities. This could be done via management accounts for the social enterprise specifically.
What can cash grants be spent on?
The cash grant must be spent on the project that won the award. The specific use of the cash grants will be agreed between Rethink Ireland and the Awardee.
Cash grants may not be used to pay off debts or purchase vehicles, land or buildings.
Who will decide who wins the Awards?
Final decisions are made by the Board of Rethink Ireland.
What projects are not eligible?
Who is not eligible to apply?
How can I get more information about the Fund and the application process?
We will run application clinics, providing you with an overview of the application process and what to expect and to give you a chance to ask any questions you may have.
Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any unanswered questions you may have.
By applying for the Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
If you have any further questions please join us for some of our application clinics.
Each session will entail a short presentation followed by an open Q&A session, offering you an opportunity to bring any questions you may have regarding the application process to the Fund team.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any further queries.
Contact the Social Enterprise team at firstname.lastname@example.org