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The Awards

The Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards was established by Inner City Enterprise (ICE) and Dublin City Council with the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City in 2015. These partner organisations recognised that there was a gap in the market for small flexible grants to kick-start the creation or development of social enterprises in Dublin City. Each year since 2015, a fund of between €45,000-50,000 has been distributed among innovative social enterprises.

The programme and competition aims to increase awareness of the important contribution that social enterprise makes to building communities and in creating employment and developing the skills of the participants who get involved. The awards granted to the successful applicants will also allow them to further develop their plans and activities and bring the benefits of their social enterprise to more individuals and communities.

This year a fund of €50,000 is available to provide a small number of financial awards for Social Enterprises who are at start-up or in development phase. To find out more information about the awards, application process and criteria please see below:

The Application & Awards Process

  • Open call for submission of application forms (along with supporting documentation i.e. business plan / financial accounts etc)
  • Review, scoring and short-listing of application forms
  • Short-listed applicants invited to present to evaluations committee
  • Scoring of presentations & notification of award winners
  • Award Ceremony and presentation of funding to award winners


Eligible organisation types

  • Company Limited by Guarantee not having share capital (CLG) and registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
  • Co-operatives which can demonstrate a clear social benefit / impact.
  • Applications will be considered from Private Companies limited by shares (LTD) if the shares are 100% owned by a registered Irish charity.

Excluded organisation types

  • Public Limited Company (PLC)
  • Designated Activity Company (DAC) Limited by Shares
  • Designated Activity Company (DAC) Limited by Guarantee
  • Single Member Company
  • Unlimited Company
  • Limited Partnership
  • Private Limited Company LTD (unless shares are 100% owned by a registered Irish charity)
  • Unincorporated Association/Body
  • Sole-Traders or Individuals

Additional Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be a Social Enterprise i.e. A business that generates a traded income with defined social outputs, in which all profit created is reinvested in the business
  • Applicants must be located in the Dublin City administrative area or capable of delivering social enterprise work in this administrative area.
  • Applicants must provide a current Tax Clearance Certificate before awarded funds can be drawn-down
  • Applicants must provide evidence that public liability insurance is in place before awarded funds can be drawn-down
  • Applicants must provide a concise business plan
  • Applicants must provide 1 years financial accounts ( if applicable) and 3 years projected accounts

Ineligible Enterprises

  • Applicants will be deemed ineligible if they are regular commercial businesses whose sole aim is to generate profits for Owners/Directors/ Shareholders
  • Applicants will be deemed ineligible if they are in substantial debt or if threatened insolvency is an issue
  • Enterprises which have been awarded the award previously are deemed ineligible to apply again for a period of 3 years from date of their previous award

Evaluation Process

An evaluation panel will assess the applications and supply a shortlist of candidates to the Social Enterprise Grant committee for final selection and approval. A competitive process is in place to assist with the selection process. Selection of successful candidates will be based on the following criteria:

  • Number of direct/ indirect jobs to be created
  • Quality of Proposal
  • Viability/sustainability of enterprise
  • Quality of Promoter
  • Social return/impact on investment

Decisions will be recorded and a report will be made to the overseeing Social Enterprise Committee. The shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their social enterprise to the committee. This will involve a 5 minute presentation and a 10 minute question and answer session. The committee will then decide on the successful grant awardees.

To Apply

Download the application form Here

Applicants must email a completed application form plus supporting documentation to

Conditions of Drawdown

  • A letter of offer will be issued to successful candidates and this will include terms and conditions of drawdown of the Award funds
  • The Letter of offer must be signed and returned within one month of receipt
  • Applicants will be required to submit a copy of the registration documentation for the companies’ registration office (CRO) and a current tax clearance cert
  • Evidence of public liability insurance will need to be provided
  • All successful applicants must agree to work with a mentor, assigned by the Social Enterprise Committee
  • Successful applicants must be willing to allow reference be made to them, for the purpose of case study materials or media reports, which may be used with regard to the Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards for the purposes of further promotion of the scheme.
  • All applicants will be eligible for group mentoring sessions, hosted by the Dublin City – Local Enterprise Office, in the areas of marketing and finance.

Once all of the conditions of drawdown have been met, award funds will be paid to the successful applicants.

The closing time and date for applications is: 17:00 – Friday 31st May 2019

The Dublin City Social Enterprise Committee reserves the right to extend this deadline. All applicants will be notified by post regarding the status success/failure of their application.

Post-Awards reporting

By accepting an Award, recipients agree to provide information on the impact of the award on their social enterprise / organisation;

  • Reporting may include: Jobs (new or reallocated) , Exports and/or domestic market expansion, Increase Revenue, Reduced Costs, Expected follow on investment etc;
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