Scheme to provide grants to social enterprises to improve their services
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, today announced one million euro in funding for social enterprises nationwide.
The Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 will provide funding for the purchase of equipment or the carrying out of repairs or refurbishments to enable social enterprises to improve their service delivery.
The scheme supports one of the key commitments in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 – “Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise”.
The Department of Rural and Community Development is now inviting social enterprises across the country to apply for funding under the scheme.
Making the announcement today, Minister Humphreys said:
"I am delighted to be in a position today to announce the launch of the one million euro Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 which will support social enterprises across Ireland that are providing valuable services in their communities."
"This scheme will provide small grants to social enterprises with the cost of capital projects such as refurbishments, repairs or the purchase of new equipment."
"Approximately 120 social enterprises from all across Ireland will receive support under the scheme."
The Minister continued:
"This initiative builds on other successful schemes for social enterprises funded by my Department in recent years, such as the Training and Mentoring Scheme, the Small Capital Grants Scheme for Social Enterprises, and the Social Enterprise COVID-19 Regeneration Programme."
"This announcement underscores my commitment under the National Social Enterprise Policy to growing and strengthening Social Enterprise."
"The scheme will be delivered by the network of Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) who have a great track record in administering similar supports at a local level. Final decisions on funding will be made by the Department of Rural and Community Development."
The Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 is being administered by Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each Local Authority area. Details on how to apply will be available from each LCDC shortly.
In order to allow flexibility, the Department is not setting a national closing date, but will allow each LCDC to set its own, to best suit its area. The Department will require that all closing dates are no later than 15 October 2021. Groups should check with their LCDC for further details.
Details of the allocation to each local authority area are set out in below.
Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown
Notes to editor:
Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their 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 their core social objectives, rather than maximising profit for their owners.
They frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, the Traveller community, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.
National Social Enterprise Policy
Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022
was launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development on 18 July 2019, with the objective of creating an enabling environment for social enterprise to grow and 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
Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs)
LCDCs are groups established in each Local Authority area, made up of members of the Local Authority, Local Authority staff, people from the local community, people from public bodies who provide funding to the area, and people from publicly funded local development groups.
LCDCs are responsible for co-ordinating, planning and overseeing local and community development funding and bringing a more joined-up approach to the running of local and community development programmes and interventions.
They pursue an integrated approach to local community based services across providers and delivery structures promoting meaningful citizen and community engagement in the planning and evaluation of development programmes.
They also ensure better value for money in the management and delivery of programmes and effectively match resources to priorities.
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 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:
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.