Deadline approaching for applications for the Social Enterprise Fund

low angle photography of architectural building
Photo by Dan Schiumarini on Unsplash

THE deadline for application for the Social Enterprise Development Fund is this Friday 05 March 2021.

A total of €400,000 in funding is being made available to social enterprises to help lead the post-Covid economic and social recovery through Rethink Ireland’s Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

 The objective of the fund is to find and back the best social enterprises in Ireland by making cash grants and strategic business support available to awardees.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund was created by Rethink Ireland in 2018 in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

 The objective of the Fund is to find and back social enterprises that add to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact. The Fund will provide critical support to the most innovative and impactful social enterprises across Ireland, helping them to:

  •       Increase their social impact
  •       Increase their traded income
  •       Create more jobs
  •       Develop long-term, effective and sustainable solutions

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million fund which is being delivered over four years from 2018–2022. An additional commitment of €1.6m in 2020, added to an original commitment of €1.6m in 2018, bringing the overall fund to an investment of €3.2m in total.

 In 2021, the fund will support up to 16 social enterprises with cash grants and a place on the Accelerator Programme:

  •       Two cash grants of €50,000
  •       Two cash grants of €30,000
  •       Two cash grants of €20,000
  •       Ten cash grants of €10,000

All successful applicants will also win a place on Ireland’s only National Accelerator Programme specifically designed for social enterprises. The Accelerator Programme will equip social enterprises with the skills they need to scale up and deepen their social impact.

 You must be a social enterprise with a not-for-profit legal form.

According to the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022, ‘Social Enterprises are businesses whose core objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises trade in goods or services on an ongoing basis. However, any surpluses they generate are re-invested into achieving a social impact.’

 The project must:

  •       be up and running or tested in a minimum way
  •       address a critical social issue
  •       be innovative in an Irish context
  •       have the potential to be rolled out or replicated in Ireland, be based on the island of Ireland
  •       have its main impact in the Republic of Ireland

Stage 1 Applications close on Friday 05 March 2021. Applicants are invited to complete a short application form which will be used to identify a shortlist of applicants who have met the basic minimum criteria.

 Stage 2 Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to complete a more detailed application form. The submission deadline for the second stage of the application is Thursday 01 April 2021.

For more information on the fund and how to apply please see