Social enterprises in Donegal are being encouraged to apply for a share of a new €1.6 million fund.
The fund has been announced for innovative organisations with an aim to create 300 jobs and provide services to 100,000 people over four years.
The news came as the impact of the 2019 Social Enterprise Development Fund Awardees was celebrated at a showcase event in Royal College of Physicians on Thursday.
Donegal-based Spraoi agus Spórt were also honoured at showcase event.
Throughout the last two years, the Social Enterprise Development Fund Awardees have generated huge impact by providing services in sectors such as health, employment and the environment, creating 142 jobs, engaging with 274 volunteers and providing services to 35,100 people.
Seán Canney TD, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development said up to 16 successful applicants will receive a grant between €10,000 and €50,000 to invest in growing their organisation.
“The successful applicants will also receive a place on Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s six-month Accelerator programme.
“The programme is designed to help social enterprises develop their business skills and to provide them with ongoing peer support and advice so that they develop sustainable enterprises that have a powerful impact in their community,” he said.
This commitment is on top of the previous €1.6 million investment 2018-2019, creating a €3.2m investment in total, the most significant private investment in social enterprises to date.
The Fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland with Local Authorities Ireland and is supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council said he is excited to be working with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland.
“The extension of the Social Enterprise Development Fund will surely help deliver real and meaningful change to each of the organisations involved and Ireland’s social enterprise sector as a whole,” he said.
Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said the Fund will create a lasting impact and will truly add value to our society.
“We look forward to our continued partnership with IPB Insurance, the Department of Rural and Community Development, and Local Authorities Ireland to create 300 jobs and provide services to 100,000 people across the length and breadth of Ireland,’’ she said.
The 2020 Fund will be open for applications from 16th January until the 6th of March 2020.
Further details are available on www.socialinnovation.ie.