Irish Social Enterprise Network calls for an immediate support for Ireland’s social enterprise sector after report ranks Ireland’s legacy at 43rd of 45 of world’s largest economies for social entrepreneurship and social enterprise development.

A compelling international report from Thomson Reuters Foundation ranks Ireland behind most of the top world economies on supports and access to markets. In each of the 45 countries, Thomson Reuters Foundation contacted 20 experts focused on social entrepreneurship: academics, social entrepreneurs, investors, policy-makers and support network staff. Overall Ireland did not fare so well.

When asked in the survey ‘Are conditions favourable for social entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses’, Ireland ranked 41 out of 45. On the question ‘Social entrepreneurs can access the non-financial support they need (e.g. financial, legal and technical advice; access to markets and networks; coaching, mentoring and training)’, Ireland ranked in dead last place of 44 behind many European, American, Middle Eastern and African nations.

When surveyed ‘It is easy for social entrepreneurs to sell to government’, Ireland also ranked in last place, bringing into question many of the initiatives that are being presented in new capital projects.

‘The consistent lack of investment and commitment to the social enterprise sector over many years has led to this untenable situation. The Irish Social Enterprise Network has put forward proposals for ways to foster and develop Irish community owned enterprises that give jobs and sustainable development to communities all across the island’, said Chris Gordon, CEO of the Irish Social Enterprise Network (

‘This information comes despite some incredible and exceptional social enterprises and social entrepreneurs that exist in Ireland. Many social enterprises require the same supports that are afforded to all private companies that seek Enterprise Ireland help. Ireland must resolve this issue in measuring social enterprise development and job creation as a national priority, fully funding the representative social enterprise organisation,, implementing social enterprise company formation laws, fully support community benefit clause initiatives and help foster a social enterprise movement on the island.’

The Top 10 organisations were

1 / United States

2 / Canada

3 / United Kingdom

4 / Singapore

5 / Israel

6 / Chile

7 / South Korea

8 / Hong Kong

9 / Malaysia

10 / France

The survey can be found at


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