In July 2019, the Department of Rural and Community Development published a National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland.
The Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 is one initiative being taken by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Policy to support social enterprises and is complementary to other supports provided by the Department.
It is anticipated that the small scale nature of the grants under this scheme will particularly benefit smaller or start-up social enterprises which do not necessarily have the capacity to compete for larger grants, but which nonetheless have a need for upgraded/additional equipment to help them to deliver their services.
The scheme is being administered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by the network of Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) across the country.
The deadline for receipt of completed DLR applications is: 11pm Wednesday 13th October 2021
Only social enterprises, as defined in the National Social Enterprise Policy (see below), may apply under this scheme. All applicants will be checked and verified to ensure they meet the definition. Applicants who do not meet this definition will not be considered.
“A Social Enterprise is an enterprise whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders. It pursues its objectives by trading on an ongoing basis through the provision of goods and/or services, and by reinvesting surpluses into achieving social objectives. It is governed in a fully accountable and transparent manner and is independent of the public sector. If dissolved, it should transfer its assets to another organisation with a similar mission.”
National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022
Amounts approved to social enterprises will be subject to the total number of applications approved and the overall budget available.
Under this scheme, grants will be provided to social enterprises towards small scale capital costs. Capital costs incurred by social enterprises for the purchase of equipment are eligible. Repairs and refurbishment of existing facilities can also be funded.
The scheme does not provide funding for operating costs (e.g. the employment of staff, electricity costs, heating costs, etc.) or administrative costs.
Only expenditure incurred after the date of grant approval will be eligible. The grant may cover all, or part of, the purchase or works in question. However, the full cost of the purchase or works must be provided on the Application Form.
Applicants will be required to confirm that their organisation meets the definition of a social enterprise as set out in the National Policy. Applicants will be asked to explain the purpose for which the grant is sought. Factors such as demonstrable need and the potential impact of the grant on service delivery will also be taken into account.
All applications will be reviewed by the LCDCs to verify that the applicant meets the definition of a social enterprise as set out in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland. Final decisions on funding approvals will be made by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The deadline for receipt of completed DLR applications is: 11pm Wednesday 13th October 2021.
The upper limit of any grant will be €10,000. It is expected that applications will not normally exceed this upper limit. Additional funding above this may be provided to exceptional projects where funding is available.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome via the relevant LCDC. Successful applicants will have until 5pm 11th February 2022 to draw down the grant, based on evidence of completed purchases or works. Evidence of completed purchases/works will include relevant invoices & photos.