Panellists announced, Janet O’Toole, Senan Cooke and Ciaran Mullooly – Details below

There are limited tickets still available to this online event that will offer advice on building social enterprise in rural Ireland and how social enterprise can support the development of rural communities: 

Join us on 30th September at 11am to take part in this event, brought to you by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Western Development Commission.

Registration is now open. Click HERE to book your place.

Social enterprises are an important part of local economies in rural areas, often filling gaps in markets that are not attractive to commercially-focused companies due to low population densities or economies of scale.

The Rural Development Policy ‘Our Rural Future’ published in March 2021 represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development in Ireland. One of the key deliverables from ‘Our Rural Future’ is to support the development of Social Enterprises in rural areas to increase their social, economic and environmental impact and contribute to job creation locally.

The event will be hosted by CEO of the Western Development Commission Tomás Ó Síocháin and include a panel of leaders in social enterprise from across the country to discuss the opportunities and challenges for social enterprises in rural communities.

Janet O’Toole,  Community Development Manager with Connemara West, a community development company based in Co. Galway.  Although located in a remote rural area, the company has partnerships with many national and international public and private agencies and organisations to help it deliver community services, infrastructure and employment in education, tourism, heritage, childcare, sports and community radio.

Dr Senan Cooke, author of ”The Enterprising Community”, Founder and secretary and voluntary director of several rural social enterprises in Dunhill and Copper Coast Global Geopark area of Co. Waterford. Former member of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas.

Ciaran Mullooly, Community & Social Enterprise worker with Roscommon Leader Partnership working in the Social Inclusion and Community Activation area and the county’s regeneration training programme, a former journalist and correspondent with RTE News, he is the founder of the award-winning Lough Ree Access For All social enterprise project – providing access to the waterways of the midlands for people with disability and mobility issues on a specially designed boat from a base at Ballyleague, county Roscommon.

There will also be an opportunity to virtually visit three social enterprises to see the impact they are having in their communities.


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