€2 million fund for Social Enterprises will greatly benefit disadvantaged persons and those with disabilities – Minister Ring

Published 14 December 2018

Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today announced the allocation of €2 million in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund to 52 social enterprise projects across the country.

The main aim of the funding is to increase the impact of social enterprises by enhancing their capacity to deliver services and generate traded income through the provision of small capital grants.

Examples of the projects being supported by the Fund include:

  • Development of an online Meals on Wheels booking service and investment in improved equipment in Duhallow, County Cork
  • Renovation and extension of the kitchen at Green Kitchen Café in Walkinstown, Dublin which supports and trains people with disabilities
  • Refurbishment of the sports pitch and dance studio at Limerick Youth Service

The allocations follow a call for applications for funding made by Minister Ring in July.

Announcing the successful projects today, Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to announce funding of €2 million to assist social enterprises in the valuable work they carry out across the country.  Social enterprises drive job creation, deliver essential services, bring social benefits and breathe life into communities.

“Most importantly, they carry out this work in communities and areas which are most in need, including rural areas which would otherwise struggle to attract mainstream providers in certain sectors. The funding being made available today will enable the successful applicants to improve their service delivery through investment in areas such as essential equipment, accessible vehicles and premises refurbishment.”

Social enterprises operate in a similar fashion to businesses, selling goods or services to individuals, private businesses and the public sector.  However, social enterprises are set up to deliver or contribute towards a social, community or environmental goal and any surpluses which emerge from the activities of a social enterprise are reinvested back into its goal.

The Minister continued: “There was high interest in the call for proposals with over 100 applications received. My Department also provides ongoing supports for social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Development Fund launched earlier this year by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, as well as through the SICAP, LEADER and Community Services programmes.

“My Department is also at an advanced stage in finalising Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy. I expect to publish a draft of the policy shortly for public consultation, and to publish the final policy early in 2019.”

The Dormant Accounts Fund assists:

  • the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged,
  • the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged, and
  •  persons with a disability.

The Social Enterprise Measure of the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan is overseen by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by Pobal. A full list of the successful 52 projects, including the grant amounts awarded, is available on the Department’s website at:  https://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Copy-of-181214-Dormant-Accounts-Social-Enterprise-recipients.pdf

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

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.