Rethink Ireland, the organisation supporting the most innovative non-profit organisations working in Irish communities across the country, is celebrating the positive impact of social enterprises who are transforming Ireland under the Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund, making an open call for applications to the 2023 Fund in County Cork. Now in its sixth year, the Fund will focus on start-up and next stage social enterprises, as well as the continuation of a business course across every Local Authority region in Ireland.
The incredible impact achieved to date under the Fund is set to accelerate change into 2023 with new opportunities for social enterprises to solve critical issues, and improve the lives of people and communities. The €4.4 million Fund, created in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund, opened for applications on Monday at Rethink Ireland’s Social Enterprise Development Fund Showcase, marking five years of the Fund.
Rethink Ireland supports social enterprises that are focused on critical social change. Social enterprises can lead the transition to a more inclusive, sustainable and green economy. Any profit made by a social enterprise is reinvested back into the organisation's social or environmental mission, allowing it to maximise impact.
Alistair Aitken, Manager, Books at One, an SED Fund Awardee social enterprise, said: “We are a network of community bookshops run by local people to address the social and economic decline that many communities in Ireland are experiencing. The Rethink Ireland SED Fund enables us, crucially, to step in where there is an absence of investment in facilities for intergenerational socialising outside of pubs and sports clubs.”
“Through SED funding and support, the service has delivered staff training in the areas of HR, volunteer management and event organisation. Books at One has also worked to reduce the barriers to reading for pleasure where opportunities are limited through economic circumstances, lack of access and motivational disadvantage by providing exciting events and free books in a disadvantaged area.
Applications for the 2023 Social Enterprise Development Fund will be open until February 24th and can be found on Rethink Ireland’s website, www.rethinkireland.ie. More information on the 2022 awardees can be found below.