Thanks to funding from ICMIF member IPB Insurance, Rethink Ireland last month announced the eight Awardees of its Social Enterprise Development Fund and 20 Awardees of its Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund. These Funds aim to support and develop social enterprises across Ireland that work primarily to improve the lives of people and communities.
Rethink Ireland provides cash grants and business support to the social innovations that they believe can make a real difference. Rethink Ireland’s aim is to fuel these innovations with the knowledge and the advice they will need to succeed on a nationally impactful scale.
The Social Enterprise Development Fund (2018 – 2023) is a EUR 4.4 million Fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund that aims to discover and enhance social enterprises that are already creating a social and economic impact on their communities.
To date, the Social Enterprise Development Fund has helped over 500 people gain employment through 112 social enterprises and has mobilised over 16,507 volunteers.
The objective of the fund, says IPB Insurance, is to find and back social enterprises that have developed a project that adds 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 projects proposed by social enterprises, helping them to increase their social impact, increase their traded income, create more jobs and develop long-term, effective and sustainable solutions across Ireland.
Former IPB Insurance Chief Executive Michael Garvey (pictured above, far right) said: “Working alongside our local authority Members, our collaboration with Rethink Ireland and the Department has proven hugely successful in attracting and supporting social enterprises that are making a real difference in addressing social needs in their communities. The social enterprise sector in Ireland is going from strength to strength and is playing an increasing role in strengthening the sustainability and resilience of communities across the country. It is important that social enterprises continue to be nurtured by recognising the importance of the sector and providing assistance through financial and business supports.”
The Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund, now in its second year, is an EUR 800,000 Fund developed by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The Fund aims to support social enterprises at the startup and early stage of existence, with organisations from 10 counties throughout Ireland recognised as Awardees.
Last month’s awardees include:
- An Mheitheal Rothar: An Mheithal Rothar focuses on providing bicycles to those who do not have access to cycling, particularly those who are unable to participate in the Bike to Work program, while also creating an impact on the areas of employment and sustainability. Their one-of-a-kind approach combines recycling and waste reduction with delivering affordable bikes, as well as personalised information sharing and problem solutions for each user.
- Carrickmacross Toy Library: Carrickmacross Toy Library tackles the problem of toy waste by offering a toy lending service to their local area, and offering an affordable and sustainable service to families.
- Common Ground: Common Ground Community-Led Housing has been working in response to the housing crisis in Ireland since 2018. The project offers a win-win solution for State bodies, households and the wider community for developing a new housing sector for our country. Their replicable and internationally proven model makes housing more attainable, community-focused and sustainable, for the benefit of everyone. They offer a viable proposal for a pilot scheme in North County Wicklow which aims to be the first of its kind in Ireland and to offer a template for other groups around the country to help acheive a similar goal.
Richard Gavin, Assistant Principal at Department of Rural and Community Development stated: “Recipients of today’s funding and support are playing a key role in developing communities nationwide and I want to extend my congratulations to all Awardees. With their commitment and dedicated work, these enterprises are making a true social and economic impact on their local communities, while also tackling key social issues that we face today. They are inspirations for the next generation of social enterprises and we look forward to continuing to support them as they progress and develop further.”
CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell commented on the Awardee announcement stating: “This year Rethink Ireland published our 6 Year Impact Report, detailing the level of progress that has been made towards developing a more sustainable and fairer Ireland by supporting social enterprises. Today, I’m delighted to announce that Rethink Ireland is awarding additional support and funding to 28 social enterprises who are on their journey to creating a lasting positive impact on communities across the country.
“Social enterprises are part of the social fabric of our communities as they play a key role in developing solutions to the biggest challenges we face on a daily basis. From a toy library that offers rental toys to families to reduce waste, to a therapeutic adventure group focused on tackling youth mental health difficulties, or a heart-warming community centre that is integrating and including immigrants and refugees into Irish society through support and learning opportunities, social enterprises show a deep level of care for everyone in a community across Ireland. We are so thankful to our supporting partners and are delighted to have the opportunity to support these wonderful organisations.”
For more information on each Awardee please visit https://rethinkireland.ie/our-funds/social-enterprise/