25 November 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Cork County Council and Social Innovation Fund Ireland Call for Applications
Social Innovation Ireland (SIFI), in partnership with Cork County Council and all 31 Local Authorities across Ireland officially launched the second year of the €1.6m Social Enterprise Development Fund. The Fund is financed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, from the Dormant Accounts Fund and IPB Insurance. The fund will continue to provide critical support to the most innovative and impactful social enterprises in Ireland so that they can sustain and scale their impact across the country.
Last year’s awardees include Cork-based social enterprise project, Sailing into Wellness, a monthly sailing group which helps people with drug and alcohol problems to develop skills and build confidence.
This year, social enterprises will have a chance to win cash grant amounts ranging from €10,000 up to €50,000. Sixteen successful applicants will each win a cash investment and a place on Ireland’s only National Accelerator Programme for social enterprises. The Accelerator Programme provides training from best-in-class experts across the private, non-profit and public sectors and is designed to equip social enterprises to expand their business skills and deepen their impact within their communities and across the country. This year, the Accelerator Programme will include an Accelerator Fund, whereby each participant will have an opportunity to pitch for a share of an additional €100,000 in funding on completion of the 6-month programme.
Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said: “To date, we have supported 22 social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Development Fund and it was been so rewarding to watch each organisation develop their business skills and grow their impact across the country. We were very pleased with the quality of applications we received last year and we now have proof that there is a national pipeline of innovative and impactful social enterprises in Ireland. Following on from last year’s success, we are really pleased to call for applicants for the second year of the fund.’’
The fund is now open for applications from social enterprises in Cork. Elmarie McCarthy, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, said: “The Social Enterprise Development Fund presents a great opportunity for social enterprises to achieve their goals and ultimately create measurable social impact in their communities and across Ireland. We hope to see all of Cork’s innovative social enterprise projects apply to be part of this excellent funding initiative in 2019.”
George Jones, Chairman of IPB Insurance said: “We are delighted to support our local authority members working in partnership with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland for a second year. Last year, the fund received over 100 applications from almost every county and provided critical supports to 22 very impressive social enterprises. The national reach and local knowledge provided by the county and city councils, combined with Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s expertise has helped ensure each social enterprise is making a real and lasting impact which can be scaled across the country.”
The fund is now open for applications from social enterprises until 25th January 2019. Further details are available on www.socialinnovation.ie