Minister Ring announces €1.75m from Dormant Accounts Fund to support social enterprises
Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring T.D., today announced a new round of funding of €1.75 million from the Dormant Accounts Fund to support social enterprises that provide services to, or employment opportunities for, disadvantaged people.
Organisations can apply for funding to cover capital costs and capacity building measures.
Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said:
“I am very pleased to announce today that I am making €1.75 million in funding available from the Dormant Accounts Fund to assist social enterprises which support disadvantaged and marginalised communities.
Social enterprises play an important role in addressing social exclusion and unemployment in Ireland. They provide services that are often not offered on a commercial basis, while creating jobs locally in delivering social services to disadvantaged communities.
This measure is open to all social enterprises who meet the scheme criteria. I would particularly welcome applications from organisations that have not previously received funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund and from social enterprises providing benefits to rural communities, in support of the Action Plan for Rural Development.”
The Social Enterprise measure under the Dormant Accounts Fund will be managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Full details of the measure and the online application process will be available from tomorrow on Pobal’s website, www.pobal.ie.
Notes for Editors
Dormant Accounts Fund
The Dormant Accounts Act 2001, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.
The legislation introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed, but only for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:
- the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
- the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or
- persons with a disability
- The eligible costs will generally fall under the following categories:
- Funding is available for capital costs and capacity building supports. Capacity building grants are only available as part of an application for capital costs.
- The Social Enterprise measure under the Dormant Accounts Fund will support social enterprises that provide services to, or employment opportunities for, disadvantaged people, particularly in rural areas.
- The key objective of a social enterprise is to attain one or more social objectives, with any profit/surplus seen as the means to ensure sustainability.
- A Social Enterprise is defined as “An enterprise that trades for social/societal purpose, where at least part of its income is earned from its trading activity, is separate from Government and where the surplus is primarily re-invested in the social objective.” – Forfas: Social Enterprise in Ireland, Sectoral Opportunities and Policy Issues, July 2013
- Machinery and specialised equipment (new machinery and replacements or upgrades are eligible for consideration),
- Refurbishment costs (e.g. an extension of a workspace),
- Supports to build organisational capacity in the areas of management skills, governance, marketing and sales, and business strategy.
The maximum grant available for capital costs is €75,000 and the minimum grant is €20,000.