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Social Enterprise Start-up Fund 2022

by opportunitydiary

Application Deadline: 04/03/2024

The Social Enterprise Start-up Fund is an €800,000 Fund delivered over two years: 2021 – 2022. The Fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established in 2017 to provide a renewed and consolidated focus on rural and community development in Ireland. The consolidation into a new Department of both policy and supports in respect of community and rural development provides the means for a greater focus on creating vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities. The Department has responsibility for ensuring arrangements for strong oversight of the charities sector through facilitating the Charities Regulatory Authority in carrying out its independent statutory role. In July, 2019 the Department also published Ireland’s first National Policy on Social Enterprise. The Policy is the Government’s framework to develop the sector in the years ahead both in terms of scale and impact.


They invite applications from social enterprises (projects) that are at an early stage of their development and are looking to fully establish themselves in the market. The following criteria must be met:

  • The social enterprise must address a critical social issue
  • The social enterprise proposed must be innovative in an Irish context
  • The social enterprise must be based on the island of Ireland and must make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland
  • The social enterprise must have potential and a desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement)
  • The social enterprise has passed the idea stage, i.e. has completed some market research, developed a prototype, made at least one sale, etc.
  • Applicants need to be of a not-for-profit nature. Legal forms include e.g. a company limited by guarantee, a co-operative, a trust, and other not for profit legal entities
  • If your organization has charitable status then it will meet the above eligibility criteria
  • The social enterprise must have created some traded income to date
  • The social enterprise must not have created more than €100,000 income in total in 2021.

Application Procedure

Applications open from January 28th

Applications are open from Friday, January 28th until Friday, March 4th. Applicants are invited to complete a short application form. Based on this application, Rethink Ireland will identify a shortlist of applicants who have met the required criteria and award 20 applicants from the shortlist.

Application Clinics

The first clinic will be held to support potential applicants with any questions they may have on Friday, February 4th at 1pm – 2pm. You can attend under this link.

Announcing winners

The Social Enterprise Start-up Fund will inform the successful applicants by June 2022, and the public awards announcement will follow. The Accelerator Programme will commence in July 2022.

Official Website: Social Enterprise Start-up Fund 2022

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