Tuesday, July 11th 2023: Community services, affordable counselling and sustainability education providers are among the eight high-impact social enterprises announced by Rethink Ireland to be awarded under the Social Enterprise Development Fund, now in its sixth year. Eight social enterprises, responding to urgent needs in communities and tackling some of the country’s most pertinent societal barriers, will be funded by Rethink Ireland, following a call for another round of applicants earlier this year.
Awardee social enterprises will receive a combination of cash grants and business supports, including a cash injection of €22,500 each and access to a non-financial support package worth €7,500, aimed at assisting each awardee in further expanding their organisations and supporting people that are most in need.
The sixth year of the fund focused on start-up and next-stage social enterprises, as well as the continuation of a business course across every Local Authority region in Ireland. To date, the Fund has supported social enterprises in every county in Ireland, helping them to deliver services to over 400,000 people, provide 500 people with access to employment and to mobilise 16,600 volunteers.
Social enterprises can lead the transition to a more inclusive, sustainable and green economy. Any profit made by a social enterprise is reinvested back into the organisation’s social or environmental mission, allowing it to maximise impact.
Awardees announced today are:
The Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund is a €4.4 million fund being delivered from 2018 to 2023, supported by IPB Insurance, together with Local Authorities Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development, via the Dormant Accounts Fund. Rethink Ireland, the organisation supporting the most innovative non-profit organisations working in Irish communities across the country, supports social enterprises that are focused on critical positive change.
Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD commented: “Since the beginning of this fund six years ago, awardee organisations supported through the Social Enterprise Development Fund have made a significant impact in their local communities. I am delighted to welcome the latest round of awardees who are each working to combat serious social and economic barriers that stand in the way of bringing Irish communities closer together to thrive. The Irish Government recognises the importance of social enterprises and the key role that they play in our society.”
Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland said: “Throughout six years of investment, both the need underpinning the Social Enterprise Development Fund, and the positive impact in society, are clearly evident in the people benefitting from new or enhanced services. This is just the beginning and we now have an opportunity to reinforce the achievements to date by expanding support for this vital sector. We are at a point in social development where Ireland must catch up with its European cohorts. At Rethink Ireland we want to see the number of social enterprises increase with continued support and dedicated funding for our local social innovators.”
She continued: “We are pleased to celebrate our partnership with IPB Insurance, Local Authorities Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), the success of which, crucially, is evident in the positive impact of the Fund on communities in Ireland. We are excited to announce this latest round of awardees and look forward to seeing the impact of their work in the coming years.”
John Kearns, CEO, IPB Insurance, commented: “We are proud to support these very deserving awardees that make such a positive impact on their local communities. Working alongside our local authority Members, Rethink Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development we have seen incredible progress in our country’s socio-economic development over the past six years. We are proud of the legacy of this partnership and are also excited to see the impact of the social enterprise business course, which provides greater access to education for social enterprises across every Local Authority region in Ireland.”
Impact of the €4.4m Social Enterprise Development Fund since 2018:
Impact goals for the 2023 SED Fund: