Awardee organisations of €4.4 million Fund to receive €30,000 each in cash grants and business supports to fuel local social enterprise development 

Community services, affordable counselling and sustainability education providers areamong 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 under this fund are: 

  • ACM Community Development Society Limited, a cooperative society that runs a community services hub in Castleconnell.  
  • Accelerating Change Together, a social enterprise comprising of architects, urbanists and policy specialists established to accelerate the Green Transition across Ireland. 
  • Anam Music Therapy, a community-based musical therapy group that provides accessible music therapy services to those most in need, while increasing awareness of the profession in Ireland. 
  • Education for Sustainability, a sustainable education social enterprise who provide a 10-week packaged climate literacy course for schools that includes teacher training, resources, lesson plans and an online student interactive workbook. 
  • Kinship Care Ireland, an organisation created to promote the recognition, rights and entitlements of children, young people, and carers in kinship families. 
  • Living Life Counselling, is a donation-based business for adults, couples and children aimed at giving access to private counselling services for people who cannot afford it.  
  • Lough Ree Access for All CLG, is a licenced passenger boat service for people with disabilities on the island of Ireland or in the UK. 
  • Self Organised Architecture, is an organisation that directly supports community-led groups in the delivery of community-led housing schemes by helping them negotiate with developers, financial institutions, local/national government and approved housing bodies. 

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.” 

Chief Executive for Mayo County Council, Kevin Kelly, said: “We are excited to be working with Rethink Ireland and IPB Insurance on the Social Enterprise Development Fund, which brings impactful change to local areas and organisations involved, as well as delivering an overall increase in support for the social enterprise sector as a whole. We would like to congratulate Accelerating Change Together (ACT) CLG on being successful in becoming an awardee of this Fund.” 

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: 

  • The Fund has supported 110 social enterprises through cash grants and non-financial supports; 
  • Awardees delivered services to over 400,000 people throughout Ireland; 
  • Awardees mobilised 16,600 volunteers; 
  • In 2022, the Social Enterprise Business Course supported 100 social entrepreneurs at idea stage to join a six-week course equipping them to set up their social enterprise; 
  • Over 209 jobs have been created within the sector. 

Impact goals for the 2023 SED Fund: 

  • 15 local arts and crafts people engaged to set up a Creative Hub; 
  • 100 people directly engaged in Green Transition thinking; 
  • 10-week music therapy programme delivered to two special needs school in Galway; 
  • Climate literacy modules delivered to 95 primary and post-primary schools across 11 counties in Ireland; 
  • 45 kinship carers and 25 children and young people providing them specialised information and raising awareness of Kinship Care; 
  • 1,900 affordable counselling sessions offered to improve mental health; 
  • Focus on research resulting in a report on the crucial next steps for the advancement of the community-led housing sector in Ireland. 

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