Social enterprises sell goods or services to individuals, private businesses and the public sector. They are set up to deliver or contribute towards a social, community or environmental goal and the surpluses which emerge from social enterprises are not distributed to owners or shareholders.
The Department is responsible for the Dormant Accounts Fund, which provides capital funding for social enterprises, including the Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI). SIFI provides growth capital to social innovations and solutions to social issues in Ireland. The Dormant Accounts Fund also provides match funding for all philanthropic funds raised by SIFI.
On 14 December 2018, Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development announced the allocation of €2 million in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund to 52 social enterprise projects across the country. Further details, including a full list of the successful projects, is available here.
A National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland is currently being drafted. It will seek to provide a coherent policy framework to support the development of the social enterprise sector in Ireland over the next 5 years.