Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (Tuesday 10 December) announced the allocation of over €725,000 to 13 organisations for the provision of training and mentoring for social enterprises throughout Ireland.

The money, which comes from the Dormant Accounts Fund, will support the delivery of tailored training for social enterprises, which is one of the key policy commitments in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland.

Social Enterprises are businesses whose core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis. However, surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving the core social objectives.

Announcing the successful applicants, Minister Ring said:

“I am delighted to be in a position today to announce the allocation of €727,000 to 13 organisations to pilot this training and mentoring initiative.
“It is estimated that over 400 individual participants from a wide variety of social enterprises will benefit from these supports over the next year. This will build their capacity in areas such as business planning, leadership, governance, financial planning and digital innovation.
“One of the key messages which my Department has consistently heard from social enterprises is that they want more access to training and mentoring to help them strengthen their business model and improve their capacity to achieve their social, environmental and economic objectives.”
“I announced a call for proposals in September from organisations that have a track record in providing these types of supports to meet the needs of social enterprises. There was a high level of interest in the call for proposals, with 46 applications received.”

In July of this year Minister Ring launched the first “National Social Enterprise Policy” for Ireland. It commits to growing and strengthening social enterprises and specifically to ‘provide tailored training for social enterprises in areas such as business planning, mentoring, leadership, governance, capacity building, financial planning and digital innovation, to help them to improve their business potential as well as leadership and governance skills.’ This funding will support the delivery of that commitment.

Social enterprises frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, travellers, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.

The Minister continued:

“The funding I am announcing today is being provided through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
“My Department also supports social enterprises under the Dormant Accounts Fund through the Small Capital Grants Scheme which I announced on 9th December with €1 million in funding for 124 social enterprises, as well as through the Social Enterprise Development Fund established by Social Innovation Fund Ireland.
“My Department also supports social enterprises through a number of other programmes including SICAP, LEADER, and the Community Services Programme.”

Full details of the organisations receiving funding under the pilot Training and Mentoring scheme for Social Enterprises are available here on the gov.ie website

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Social Enterprises

Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy was launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development on 18 July 2019, with the objective creating an enabling environment for social enterprise to grow and to contribute more fully to Ireland’s social and economic progress.

The Policy is focused on three main objectives:

  • Creating Awareness of Social Enterprise
  • Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise
  • Achieving Better Policy Alignment

One of the key commitments made under the Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise objective is to “provide tailored training for social enterprises in areas such as business planning, mentoring, leadership, governance, capacity building, financial planning and digital innovation, to help them to improve their business potential as well as leadership and governance skills”. (Policy Measure No. 10).

The Minister’s funding announcement will support the delivery of this commitment.

46 applications were received under the Call for Proposals announced by Minister Ring in September 2019 and the Department was assisted in the assessment of the proposals by Pobal.

Dormant Accounts Fund

The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.

The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.

However, in order to utilise the un-used funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best effect, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:

  • the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged
  • the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged;
  • persons with a disability

Social enterprises work in many ways to assist people in these categories.

Capital Grant Awardees (download)

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