Chapter 10 Finding Supports

Chapter 10     Finding Supports

 

The social enterprise journey in Ireland can seem to be a lonely one. You are not alone. There are supports available.

 

10.1 When do I need a Professional?

 

It can be difficult getting started on your own or with a small group of people. Deciding when you need more help is a conversation worth having.

 

Many accountants and solicitors and business development professionals will often give you advice for free. It might be worth contacting people in your own networks with skills before you start. Make sure that you are as knowledgeable as you can be and consider pricing how much it might be to hire a professional to manage your finances or setting up your structure correctly before you begin.

10.1 Local Enterprise Offices

 

Local Enterprise Offices are set up to help business across Ireland and are a one-stop shop for information and resources. The LEO’s often provide information on training, mentoring and finance. Although there is no unified language on social enterprise for Local Enterprise Offices, they do provide supports for profit seeking organisations with a focus on creating employment and supporting entrepreneurship in general

You can find out about the Local Enterprise Offices through the website http://www.localenterprise.ie

You can find out about the Dublin Local Enterprise Office at their website https://www.localenterprise.ie/DublinCity/

 

10.2 Local Development Companies

 

Local Development Companies (LDCs) are known by many different names throughout Ireland including Local Area Partnerships, LEADER Partnerships, Integrated Development Companies as well as ‘Local Development Company’. They provide supports and advice and training in local areas that have a:

 

  • Bottom-up approach – working with communities to develop local solutions to local issues
  • Focus on promoting local economic development
  • Focus on addressing inequality and social exclusion

 

Check out http://ildn.ie/ to find your Local Development Company

 

For more information on Dublin South City Partnership, check out http://dublinsouthcitypartnership.ie/

 

10.3 Social Finance Lenders

 

There are two social finance lenders in Ireland. They work closely with the Social Finance Foundation that provides support finance through the Dormant Account Fund. Social Finance Foundation does not itself loan to social enterprises directly but you can find out more about their work and the space by logging on to http://www.sff.ie/

 

Both Community Finance Ireland and Clann Credo provide social finance loans. You can find out more about them on their websites.

 

Community Finance Ireland https://www.communityfinance.ie/

 

Clann Credo http://www.clanncredo.ie/

 

10.4 Finance

 

Microfinance Ireland http://www.microfinanceireland.ie/

 

GRID Finance http://www.gridfinance.ie/

 

Linked Finance https://linkedfinance.com/

 

10.5 Networks

 

Irish Social Enterprise Network http://www.socent.ie

 

Charities Institute of Ireland https://www.charitiesinstituteireland.ie/

 

Community Reuse Network Ireland http://crni.ie/

 

The Wheel http://www.wheel.ie/

 

Communities Creating Jobs http://www.ccj.ie/

 

10.6 Grant Award Bodies

 

Social Innovation Fund http://www.socialinnovation.ie/

 

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award http://socialentrepreneurs.ie/

 

Social Enterprise Award http://innercityenterprise.com/

 

The Wheel Funding Point http://www.wheel.ie/funding

 

Pobal.ie https://www.pobal.ie/Pages/Home.aspx

 

10.7 Other Supports

 

Irish Cooperative

Organisations Society (ICOS) http://icos.ie/

 

BuySocial.ie http://www.buysocial.ie/

 

Citizens Information: Starting a business http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/types_of_employment/self_employment/setting_up_a_business_in_ireland.html

 

Local Enterprise Office – Supporting SMEs Online Tool: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Supporting-SMEs-Online-Tool/

 

Local Enterprise Office – Training Programmes: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Training-Programmes/

 

10.8 Private Organisation Supports

 

Enterprise Ireland https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/

 

Sustainable Energy

Authority of Ireland (SEAI) https://www.seai.ie/

 

Intertrade Ireland http://www.intertradeireland.com/

 

Udaras na Gaeltachta http://www.udaras.ie/

 

Quality Matters http://www.qualitymatters.ie

 

10.9 Employment Supports

 

Local Employment Services http://www.localemploymentservices.ie/

 

Social Welfare http://www.welfare.ie/

 

Pobal https://www.pobal.ie/

 

There are a number of initiatives that might allow you to develop a social enterprise while seeking employment and also might find you your first employees. Find out more on initiatives such as the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Short-Term Enterprise Allowance, Tús, Community Employment and Community Services Programmes.

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