€500k funding announced to help promote rural social enterprises

€500k funding announced to help promote rural social enterprises

Minister for Justice, Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

HALF a million euro in funding has been announced for a new rural scheme to raise awareness of the positive role played by social enterprises.

The Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprises (ARISE) scheme will provide grants across the country to help social enterprises conduct promotions of their roles in their own communities across the country. It is a strand of the ‘Our Rural Future’ five-year development strategy.

Minister Heather Humphreys said: “This scheme will help promote the essential role played by social enterprises the length and breadth of the country. Throughout Covid-19, the value and worth of Social Enterprises within communities has risen considerably.”

The funding will be in two strands. The first strand will provide grants of up to €10,000 to social enterprises to highlight how their work is improving the lives of citizens. The second strand will provide grants of up to €50,000 to social enterprise networks and support organisations to deliver more general or sectoral messages on what social enterprises are, as well as their potential to deliver sustainable and inclusive development and recovery.

A statement from Minister Humphreys’s department outlined: “Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people.

“Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis.

“However, surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives, rather than maximising profit for their owners. They frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, the traveller community, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.”

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