by Kathy Masterson
A NEW Government funding scheme “will improve and grow our social enterprises in Limerick”, according to Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell.
Deputy O’Donnell welcomed the announcement this week of the launch of the Scaling-up Scheme, designed to support social enterprises nationwide, and improve impact and sustainability.
He said: “Social enterprises in Limerick play a key role in communities and we have seen this throughout the recent Pandemic. This innovative €1.5 million scheme is a great opportunity for enterprises in Limerick to have a real impact.
“The scheme comprises of two streams, one for medium-scale capital works and the second for feasibility studies being administered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by Pobal.
“The drive is to encourage social enterprises which help revitalise towns and villages by addressing economic, social and educational disadvantage. This supports Fine Gael’s ambition and campaign to build stronger, safer communities in Limerick.
Applications opened at 10am on August 2, and close at 3pm on September 15. Further application details can be found on www.pobal.ie
“This funding promotes innovation within the Irish enterprise ecosystem and will encourage a greater contribution to local economies and entrepreneurial activity, productivity and innovative capability”, Deputy O’Donnell concluded.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys added: “This Scaling-up Scheme for Social Enterprise will provide some much-needed capital support to social enterprises nationwide that will enable them to grow their operations and strengthen their impact on the communities they serve.
“This scheme will be delivered in two separate streams. The first will provide funding for medium-scale capital grants to improve the impact, quality, productivity, and sustainability of social enterprise operations through the acquisition of equipment, technology, or site and building works.
“The second will provide grants for feasibility studies for social enterprises to research their potential to expand, or scale their goods/services offering, with a view to further increase the direct impact of their social enterprise on disadvantaged populations.
“It is envisaged that up to 30 social enterprises will benefit from this funding, which will undoubtedly have a huge impact on themselves, the communities they operate in, and on their customers and service users”, concluded Deputy Humphreys.