Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney has welcomed funding of €1 million from his department under the Small Capital Grants scheme for social enterprises.
The allocations for 124 social enterprises from the Dormant Accounts Fund includes funding for Galway enterprises totalling €43,200.
Minister Canney, who manages the fund at the Department of Rural and Community Development, said: “I am delighted to approve these awards. They are specifically aimed at companies supporting disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities and travellers or organisations that tackle issues such as food poverty, social housing and environmental matters.
“We had an overwhelming response to our call for applications. The Galway groups receiving awards are SCCUL Enterprise Centre, Ballybane, Galway Community Circus, Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd and Galway Telework Co-op Society Ltd, Mountbellew.
“The grants are between €2,000 and €15,000 and examples of the type of purchases they are intended to fund include computers, training materials, kitchen equipment and minor refurbishments.
“I would like to acknowledge the work of the Local Development Companies who assist the Department of Rural and Community Development in administering the scheme and my ministerial colleague, Minister Michael Ring, for his support.

For more information, contact Minister Canney on 086-2513639
December 10 2019

Editor’s Note
Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses whose 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 the core social objectives.

Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy was launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development on 18 July 2019, with the objective creating an enabling environment for social enterprise to grow and to contribute more fully to Ireland’s social and economic progress.

The Policy is focused on three main objectives:

1. Building Awareness of Social Enterprise
2. Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise
3. Achieving Better Policy Alignment

Dormant Accounts Fund

The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, 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 main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.

However, in order to utilise the unused funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best effect, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:

1. The personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
2. The educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged;
3. Persons with a disability.