The Policy Launch
The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, T.D. launched the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 on Thursday 18th July 2019 at 10.30 in the offices of Speedpak Ltd., a social enterprise based at Clonshaugh Business & Technology Park in Coolock, Dublin.
This launch event follows the publication of the draft National Policy on Social Enterprise for public consultation earlier this year. This consultation process sought the views of stakeholders and the public in order to further inform the new policy.
The policy defines social enterprises as businesses whose core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Social Enterprises frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, travelers, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.
The new National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland is focused on three key objectives:
- Building Awareness of Social Enterprise;
- Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise and
- Achieving Better Policy Alignment.
The policy document sets out a series of 26 commitments on the part of Government across these objectives for the development of social enterprise over the period 2019-2022. These commitments will be delivered in partnership with social enterprise stakeholders.
Minster Ring addressed those attending the launch event saying “For many years, social enterprises have provided a flexible and effective model which has delivered a positive response to social and societal issues. Social enterprises deliver a range of services across a wide spectrum of activities through their business model. They are innovative and entrepreneurial and frequently find new ways to address social, societal or environmental challenges in areas such as employment activation, affordable childcare, and the green economy. In doing so, social enterprises contribute significantly to the delivery of many Government policy objectives.”
A copy of the National Social Enterprise Policy is available here.
The National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland is part of a suite of policy initiatives from the Department of Rural and Community Development to support those who work with communities and disadvantaged groups. Other initiatives include a new Strategy for the Community and Voluntary Sectors and a new National Volunteering Strategy, which will be published later in 2019.
On Sept 2nd, 2019, Mr. Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, announced €800,000 in funding for the provision of training and mentoring for social enterprises throughout Ireland. The funding will be provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund and will support one of the key policy commitments in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland which is detailed above.
Pobal recently invited Expressions of Interest on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development for the delivery of training and mentoring from national, regional or local organizations or networks that have a demonstrable track record in the delivery of training and mentoring to social enterprises.
Statutory bodies or institutions, including Higher Education Institutions, which have a proven track record in providing direct supports and training to social enterprises, are eligible to apply.
This training initiative delivers on the commitment made in the National Social Enterprise Policy. and up to 300 participants are likely to benefit from the provision of training and mentoring supports over the next 12 months.
As well as training there are a number of events taking place in Dublin and around the country to inform people about social enterprise and illustrate real examples of social enterprise. Information on these events can be found on websites such as Pobal, the Irish Local Development Network, the Wheel, the Irish Social Enterprise Network, and local economic development or enterprise offices within the county councils across Ireland.
You can also save the date for the National Social Enterprise Conference on 21st November 2019. The conference run by the Department of Rural and Community Development will be taking place in Croke Park. If interested you should keep an eye out for registration which will be live shortly.
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.
During 2018 Recycle IT operated drop off and collection services to tens of thousands of homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of batteries, computers, cables, monitors, kettles. microwaves and screens.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow.