Rethink Ireland has announced the 8 Awardees of its Social Enterprise Development Fund and 20 Awardees of its Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund at a lunch event at Airfield Estate, Dublin. These Funds aim to support and develop social enterprises across Ireland who work primarily to improve the lives of people and communities.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund (2018 – 2023) is a €4.4 million Fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund that aims to discover and enhance social enterprises that are already creating a social and economic impact on their communities.

To date the Social Enterprise Development Fund has helped over 500 people gain employment through 112 social enterprises and has mobilised over 16,507 volunteers.

The Social Enterprise Start-Up Fund, now in its second year, is an €800,000 Fund developed by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The Fund aims to support social enterprises at the startup and early stage of existence, with organisations from 10 counties throughout Ireland recognised as Awardees.

 Awardees include:

  • An Mheitheal Rothar: An Mheithal Rothar focuses on providing bicycles to those who do not have access to cycling, particularly those who are unable to participate in the Bike to Work program, while also creating an impact on the areas of employment and sustainability. Their one-of-a-kind approach combines recycling and waste reduction with delivering affordable bikes, as well as personalised information sharing and problem solutions for each user.
  • Carrickmacross Toy Library: Carrickmacross Toy Library tackles the problem of toy waste by offering a toy lending service to their local area, and offering an affordable and sustainable service to families.
  • Common Ground: Common Ground Community-Led Housing has been working in response to the housing crisis in Ireland since 2018. The project offers a win-win solution for State bodies, households and the wider community for developing a new housing sector for our country. Their replicable and internationally proven model makes housing more attainable, community-focused and sustainable, for the benefit of everyone. They offer a viable proposal for a pilot scheme in North County Wicklow which aims to be the first of its kind in Ireland and to offer a template for other groups around the country to help achieve a similar goal.

Richard Gavin, Assistant Principal at Department of Rural and Community Development stated“Recipients of this funding and support are playing a key role in developing communities nationwide and I want to extend my congratulations to all Awardees. With their commitment and dedicated work, these enterprises are making a true social and economic impact on their local communities, while also tackling key social issues that we face today. They are inspirations for the next generation of social enterprises and we look forward to continuing to support them as they progress and develop further.”

CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell commented on the Awardee announcement stating: “This year Rethink Ireland published our 6 Year Impact Report, detailing the level of progress that has been made towards developing a more sustainable and fairer Ireland by supporting social enterprises.  I’m delighted to announce that Rethink Ireland is awarding additional support and funding to 28 social enterprises who are on their journey to creating a lasting positive impact on communities across the country.

“Social enterprises are part of the social fabric  of our communities as they play a key role in developing solutions to the biggest challenges we face on a daily basis. From a toy library that offers rental toys to families to reduce waste, to a therapeutic adventure group focused on tackling youth mental health difficulties, or a heart-warming community centre that is integrating and including immigrants and refugees into Irish society through support and learning opportunities, social enterprises show a deep level of care for everyone in a community across Ireland. We are so thankful to our supporting partners and are delighted to have the opportunity to support these wonderful organisations.”

IPB Insurance Chief Executive Michael Garvey said: “Working alongside our local authority Members, our collaboration with Rethink Ireland and the Department has proven hugely successful in attracting and supporting social enterprises that are making a real difference in addressing social needs in their communities. The social enterprise sector in Ireland is going from strength to strength and is playing an increasing role in strengthening the sustainability and resilience of communities across the country. It is important that social enterprises continue to be nurtured by recognising the importance of the sector and providing assistance through financial and business supports.”

Michael Nicholson, Deputy Chief Executive of Local Authority Wicklow County Council said: ‘We would like to extend our congratulations to each Awardee on their success in receiving a Social Enterprise Fund Award from Rethink Ireland. Coming out of an extremely challenging period for Irish society, we’re delighted with this good news story for Wicklow. Social enterprises have an important role to play in guiding Ireland to become a more inclusive and equal society. Organisations like Common Ground and Rise at the Cove are leading the charge by not only creating jobs but working towards bringing about positive social change.“

For more information on each Awardee please visit

Social Enterprise Development Fund

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €4.4 million Fund being delivered from 2018 – 2023 and has been developed by Rethink Ireland in partnership with IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The Fund aims to find and support social enterprises that add to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact. Since the Fund began in 2018, it has supported social enterprises in each county of Ireland and has helped to enable 500 people to access employment and to mobilise 16,507 volunteers.

Awardees are:

Name County
Common Knowledge Clare
Together Razem Centre Cork
No Barriers Foundation Donegal
Books at One Dublin
KASI Kerry
Way 2 Work Dublin
An Mheitheal Rothar Galway
Generation: You Employed Meath

Social Enterprise Start up Fund

The Social Enterprise Start-up Fund is an €800,000 Fund to be delivered over two years: 2021 – 2022 and has been created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The Fund seeks to support social enterprises at the startup / early stage of their life cycle and will support them to embed strong business principles and, in turn, deliver social impact, create jobs and inspire emerging, next generation Irish social enterprises.

Awardees are:

Name County
Clare Community Energy Agency Clare
KindFolk Cork
Saoirse Ethnic Hands on Deck Cork
The Dialogue Code Cork
Trauma Responsive Education Cork
Pocket Forests Dublin
Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality Dublin
The Bike Hub Dublin
The Good Summit Dublin
The Sustainable Life School Dublin
Community Retrofits Ireland Galway
New Wave Wild Project Kerry
Gorm Media Limerick
Health Hub Limerick
Carrickmacross Toy Library Monaghan
Open Food Network Monaghan
Cycle Up Roscommon
Common Ground Community-Led Housing Wicklow
Rise at the Cove Wicklow

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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