Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (Monday, 2 September) announced €800,000 in funding for the provision of training and mentoring for social enterprises throughout Ireland. The funding will be provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund and will support one of the key policy commitments in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland which the Minister published in July.
Expressions of interest for the delivery of training and mentoring to social enterprises are being invited from organisations who have a proven track record in providing these types of supports to meet the needs of social enterprises.
Announcing the call for proposal today, Minister Ring said:
The Minister continued:
Minister Ring concluded:
Full details of the pilot Social Enterprise Training and Mentoring scheme will be available on Pobal’s website, www.pobal.ie, shortly.
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:
Under the Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise objective, one of the key commitments made in the Policy 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 announcement of an €800,000 fund will support the delivery of this commitment.
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:
Social enterprises work in many ways to assist people in these categories.