Closed Fund

Social Enterprise Growth Fund 2021-2024

Closing Date

Supporting social enterprises to achieve impact, growth, and transformative change

Rethink Ireland’s Growth Fund seeks to support proven social innovations to achieve widespread impact and transformative change in Ireland. Applications to the Growth Fund are accepted periodically and are open to existing Rethink Ireland Awardees that meet the criteria listed below.

Through this year’s Growth Fund, we will provide bespoke support to social enterprises who meet the Growth Fund criteria and are ready to secure significant growth capital to grow and deepen their impact over several years.

If you are successful, you will receive support from Rethink Ireland’s Business Development Team to secure private funds for an agreed fundraising target. If you achieve this, Rethink Ireland will then match funds raised to provide cash grants, business support, and a dedicated team to support you to achieve targets and impact.

Who can apply?

We invite applications from social enterprises that have been previously supported by Rethink Ireland and meet the criteria listed below.

This fund is now open for applications until 30th November 2020. Potential applicants should review the below criteria before applying and contact for further information. 

Growth Fund Criteria

The project must:

  • have graduated from a Rethink Ireland programme or completed 1 year of a Rethink Ireland multi-year programme
  • have received a single Rethink Ireland Ireland cash grant of at least €50,000 or have received any Rethink Ireland cash grant which has led to follow-on funding of at least €50,000
  • aim to secure funding of a minimum €150,000 – maximum €200,000 per annum for 3 years
  • be a social enterprise entity.

What does the fund offer?

Rethink Ireland will provide match funds to multi-year fundraising targets raised (€150,000-€200,000 per annum for 3 years) to provide;

  • cash grants
  • business supports budget
  • an assigned team to support scale and impact targets.

How do we apply?

The deadline for applications has passed.


We have tried to make the application process as accessible as possible but we understand that there may still be some difficulties for applicants. If you have access needs or are struggling with the application form, please contact We will be able to assist you then.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens next?

A team of experts will review the applications. If you are successful in the review process, we will invite your project leader to an interview. The interviews will take place in December 2020 / January 2021. The judges may do further checks or site visits. If you are successful, we will notify you in early February 2021.

What happens if our organisation is successful?

From February to July 2021, our Business Development Team will support you to fundraise your proposed multi-year fundraising target. If you successfully reach your target, we will then progress to the contracting phase and invite you to take part in a Programme which runs from January 2022 to December 2024. This programme will include:

  • mentoring
  • measuring the impact of your organisation
  • communications training
  • access to Rethink Ireland’s expertise and networks.

We will expect your project leader to devote at least two days a month to the programme.

What can we spend the grant on?

You may only spend the grant on the growth of your Social Enterprise. Rethink Ireland will agree on the specific use of the grant with you. Please note: you cannot use the grant to pay off debts or buy land, buildings or equipment.

Who will decide who wins the awards?

The Board of Rethink Ireland will make the final decision.

What is the selection process?

  • Stage 1: Call for applications (3 November – 30 November 2020)
  • Stage 2: Selection process (December 2020)
  • Stage 3: Interviews & Grantmaking Committee approval (January / February 2021)
  • Stage 4: Business Development Team support (February – July 2021)
  • Stage 5: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board (September / October 2021)

How can we find out where we are in the selection process?

We will inform applicants by telephone or email.

Interviews and feedback

  • If we invite you to the next round of the application process, we will ask you to attend an interview. The project leader or project representative must attend this interview. 
  • If selected for an interview, we will share the information you have provided with the judges.
  • The Rethink Ireland Grantmaking Committee will confirm the winning applications. They will decide based on the recommendations from the panel of judges. The Grantmaking Committee decision will be final.
  • The Growth Fund Manager may offer general verbal feedback to unsuccessful applicants who have reached the interview stage.

Terms and Conditions of the Growth Fund

By applying for the Growth Fund, you agree with the following:

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process.
  • You are eligible to apply. This means that your organisation meets the criteria for Rethink Ireland and the Growth Fund, as described earlier.
  • You have the right to apply. This means that you hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.
  • If you are successful you must take part in publicity about the grant. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted.
  • Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Directors may select an alternative Awardee.
  • Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.
  • Proposed applicants cannot participate in two Rethink Ireland programmes concurrently from January 2022 onwards.

Need more information?

Please contact