The Irish Social Enterprise Network are calling government to:

  • Support the full implementation of the National Policy for Social Enterprise 2019-2022
  • Commit to Ireland being a leader in implementing the forthcoming EU Action Plan on Social Economy and Social Innovation
  • Support the development/ growth of social enterprises through appropriate funding

Social enterprises and social economy organisations play an outsized and undervalued role in the fabric of Irish life.  Many social enterprises not only cater for, but often employ, the most underserved and vulnerable in society. Social enterprises are recognised by the National Policy for Social Enterprise in Ireland as having positive impact in those most marginalised communities and give a path forward for community cohesion and development.

With the government’s correct focus on the combatting of COVID-19, many social enterprises that provide vital services have stepped up their work or pivoted their focus to work with communities that are suffering across Ireland. The Irish economy’s most immediate concern will be tackling the high unemployment that will come was a result of  the effects of COVID-19. It has become clear that the economy will be affected with high unemployment with estimates of up to 25% which will put further pressures on the labour market. There is a fear that in this new job market, that those people who are marginalised or distant from the labour market currently, will struggle most, leading to negative consequences for them and for society. Social enterprises and social economy organisations are best placed to assist by employing people from those areas and giving meaningful employment and a greater chance of finding work in the wider private and public sectors.

Many of the issues that social enterprises are dealing with can be found as part of the work of the National Social Enterprise Policy 2019-2022. We insist that any new government formation reaffirms their commitment to that work and we hope that this will continue.

For further information, please contact the Irish Social Enterprise Network

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