New €1.6m fund to back social enterprises

29 Jan 201877 Shares

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From left: Paul Reid, chief executive, Fingal County Council; George Jones, chair, IPB Insurance; Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland; Seán Kyne, TD; and Michael Garvey, CEO, IPB Insurance. Image: Social Innovation Fund Ireland

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Sixth Social Innovation Fund will help boost social ventures across Ireland.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland has established a new €1.6m Social Enterprise Development Fund to back social enterprises.

Over the course of two years, up to eight successful applicants will receive a grant of €50,000 each to invest in growing their organisation.

‘There are fantastic social ventures across the country and it is important that they receive the necessary encouragement and supports in making a real and lasting social impact’
– GEORGE JONES

The successful applicants will also receive a place on Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s six-month accelerator programme.

Additional places will be reserved for the most promising social enterprises across all 31 local authorities in Ireland.

The programme is designed to help social enterprises develop their business skills and to provide them with ongoing peer support and advice so that they develop sustainable enterprises that have a powerful impact in their community.

Social impact

“Over the past two years Social Innovation Fund Ireland granted €2.475m in supports to social innovations in education, homelessness, health and positive ageing. This is our sixth fund and builds on our past successes in supporting enterprises that are tackling social disadvantage and exclusion. The Social Enterprise Development Fund will allow successful applicants to grow sustainable enterprises that are rooted in local communities and create solutions for a better Ireland,” said Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

Social enterprises tend to be set in the heart of rural and urban communities. Typically, they provide local services, such as tourism or social services, and so jobs are created locally, providing an important economic impact.

“There are fantastic social ventures across the country and it is important that they receive the necessary encouragement and supports in making a real and lasting social impact,” said George Jones, chair of IPB Insurance, which is partnering with Social Innovation Fund Ireland to launch the fund.

Enabling job creation in sectors such as childcare, eldercare, home help, recycling and more, social enterprises play a particularly important role in areas of market failure for social services, such as rural areas.

“This new fund from Social Innovation Fund Ireland will complement the range of supports available from local authorities for social enterprises that have a sustainable business model,” explained Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com