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Press Release

Minister Ring allocates a further €1 million in small capital grants to Social Enterprises

Published: 14 January 2020
From: Department of Rural and Community Development

106 Social Enterprises to benefit from the extra funding

Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (14 January 2020) announced the allocation of a further €1 million in funding for social enterprises under the pilot Small Capital Grants Scheme for Social Enterprises. The scheme is funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Making the announcement, Minister Ring said:

“Last year, I announced a small Capital Grants Scheme to help social enterprises to improve their service delivery by enabling them to make small equipment purchases, or to carry out refurbishments to their premises. I allocated €1 million to 124 social enterprises under the scheme in December.
The scheme was heavily over-subscribed, but such was the interest in the scheme, I am now allocating a further €1 million in small capital grants to another 106 social enterprises, based on the original applications. "

The Minister continued:

“Social Enterprises are providing valuable services and supports in communities across Ireland. Like other businesses, social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis. However, any surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving the core social objectives.
“One of the main aims of the National Social Enterprise Policy, which I launched last July, is to grow and strengthen social enterprises. The small capital grants scheme, which provides support of between €2,000 and €15,000 to social enterprises, will help those enterprises to achieve their social, environmental and economic objectives.”

Full details of the social enterprises to receive the funding is available here

Examples of items being supported through the Small Capital Grants scheme include the purchase of new kitchen equipment, computers, training material, and minor refurbishments.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Social Enterprises

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.

They 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.

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:

1. Building Awareness of Social Enterprise

2. Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise

3. Achieving Better Policy Alignment

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. 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:

1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;

2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or

3. persons with a disability.

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