Social enterprise sector has potential to create 25,000 jobs

29 Jul 2013203 Views

Some 25,000 jobs could be created in Ireland’s social enterprise sector. That’s according to a new report by Forfás that has resulted in Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock, TD, being tasked by the Taoiseach to lead efforts to exploit the opportunity.

The Forfás report Social Enterprise in Ireland – Sectoral Opportunities and Policy Issues claims the sector has the capacity to double employment with the creation of an additional 25,000 jobs by 2020.

Social enterprises are business models set up to tackle social, economic or environmental issues. Some social enterprises engage in trading or commercial activities to pursue their objectives and any surplus earned is re-invested in the social objective.

The sector employs more than 25,000 people in more than 1,400 social enterprises in Ireland, with a combined total income of around €1.4bn. The Forfás report has found that there is potential to double employment in the sector over the period to 2020.

A key finding of the Forfás report is that a coherent national policy across Government is necessary if the sector is to achieve its potential.

“The social enterprise sector has played a key role in Irish society and in the economy for many years,” said Sherlock.

“Social enterprises offer jobs across a range of skill sets, and provide services and employment in many local and rural communities. That is why as part of the Action Plan for Jobs we have committed to supporting the development of a vibrant social enterprise sector.

“It has huge potential for employment growth,” he added.

Enterprise image via Shutterstock

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of for 17 years. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service. He received of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and saw awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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