County Wicklow Partnership in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development secured a Funding Boost for Four Social Enterprises in Co Wicklow.
County Wicklow Partnership invited applications from local social enterprises for the Small Capital Grants Scheme, announced in late 2019 by Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development . The fund was very highly subscribed and County Wicklow Parntership was delighted that four Wicklow Social Enterprises were successful. They are as follows:
Donard Community Hall – Grant Amount: €8,170
Shuttleknit CLG (Wicklow Town) – Grant Amount: €10,000
121 Digital (Ashford) – Grant Amount : €4,500
The Bee Sanctuary (Tinahely) – Grant Amount: €13,825
The scheme provides grants of between €2,000 and €15,000 for equipment, repairs or refurbishments which will enable social enterprises to improve their service.
The scheme is an initiative under the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2018-2022, which the Minister published in July, and will be administered through the Local Development Companies.
CEO of County Wicklow Partnership, Brian Carty said “Along with all Local Development Companies throughout Ireland, our staff have been supporting social enterprises through LEADER, SICAP, TUS and other programmes for many years and this new fund will give the sector a significant boost, particularly by assisting early stage projects that have huge capacity for positive social impact.”
When announcing the scheme, Minister Ring said:
“One of the main objectives of the National Social Enterprise Policy, which I launched in July, is to grow and strengthen social enterprises. The new small capital grants scheme will support over 100 social enterprises through funding of €1 million from the Dormant Accounts Fund. It will provide grants of between €2,000 and €15,000 to enable social enterprises to make small equipment purchases, or to carry out refurbishments to their premises to help them to improve their service delivery.
“The scheme will be of particular interest to smaller or start-up social enterprises which do not necessarily have the capacity to compete for larger grants.”
49 Local Development Companies are the primary support network for the social enterprises in Ireland with over 40 staff dedicated working with the sector nationwide. County Wicklow Partnership will provide assistance with the application process to any group that wishes to apply.
Earlier this year Minister Michael Ring of the Department of Rural and Community Development launched the very first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019 – 2022.
The policy defined a social enterprise as one whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders. It pursues its objectives by trading on an ongoing basis through the provision of goods and/or services and by reinvesting surpluses into achieving social objectives.