Taken from our friends in Social Innovation Fund Ireland



The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €1.6 million fund which will be delivered over two years, 2018 – 2020. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The Department of Rural and Community Development provides match funding for all funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, through the Dormant Accounts Fund. IPB Insurance is an Irish owned general insurance company which protects and supports their local authority members and their communities across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Click here to apply

The deadline for applications is 28th March 2018 at 5 pm.

Applicants must be available for interview in Dublin between the 30th of April and 4th May 2018.


The objective of the fund is to find and back social enterprises that add to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact. The fund will provide critical support to the most innovative and impactful social enterprises across Ireland, helping them to:

  • Increase their social impact
  • Increase their traded income
  • Create more jobs
  • Develop long-term, effective and sustainable solutions across Ireland


Social enterprises are organisations whose mission is to have a positive effect on society. They generate revenue through their products or services and reinvest their profits back into their social mission.

Social enterprises develop solutions to Ireland’s most pressing social issues by creating jobs, tackling disadvantage and supporting community development.

We believe there is a need to foster and invest in these social enterprises to allow them to grow and spread their solutions throughout the country.


Eight cash grants of €50,000

Up to eight social enterprises will receive a cash grant of €50,000.

At least two grants will be awarded to support the most innovative and impactful projects proposed by social enterprises in each of the following categories

  • Best Social Enterprise Project Urban x 2
  • Best Social Enterprise Project Town x 2
  • Best Social Enterprise Project Rural x 2

Six-month Accelerator Programme

Awardees will also obtain a place on the SIFI Accelerator Programme which is designed to help social enterprises improve their effectiveness. By joining the programme, organisations will gain access to a peer network of the best social enterprises in Ireland.

There will be a number of additional places reserved most promising applicants.


The applicant must be a social enterprise with a not-for-profit legal form. Social enterprises are defined as organisations that:

  • Have a clear social mission and make a social impact
  • Generate income from goods or services
  • Reinvest any surplus in achieving their mission
  • Are separate from government or state agencies

The Social Enterprise Development Fund will accept applications from:

  • Social enterprises, as defined above
  • Social enterprises which sit within larger not-for-profit organisations, such as charities and voluntary organisations


SIFI aims to assist social enterprises that have developed a specific project that adds to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact. Applicants will be considered against these criteria:

  • The project must already be up and running
  • The project must address a critical social issue
  • The solution proposed must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The project must have potential to scale or replicate in Ireland
  • The project must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least minimally
  • The project must be based on the island of Ireland and make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland
  • Applicants must come from an entity that has a not-for-profit legal form.


  • Projects that have a strong track record of social impact
  • Projects that can demonstrate traded income figures with growth potential
  • Projects that can demonstrate how they effectively re-invest surplus into their organisation’s social objectives
  • Projects that have the potential to create additional jobs
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