Two Galway East social enterprise businesses have been allocated nearly €15,000 in funding under the Small Capital Grants Scheme.
Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney said: “I am delighted that Athenry Arts and Heritage Centre has been allocated €4,540 and Ballinasloe Town Hall has been allocated €10,000 under the scheme funded from the Dormant Accounts Fund which is administered by my Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development.
“I want to congratulate both social enterprises on receiving these allocations from the scheme, which was heavily over-subscribed.
“Social enterprises provided vital services and supports in our local communities.They operate like all other businesses but any surpluses they make are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives.”
Nationally, the Department of Rural and Community Development has announced €1 million in allocations to 107 social enterprises.
This is in addition to another €1 million allocated to 124 social enterprises in December 2019.

For more information, contact Minister Canney on 086-2513639
January 14 2020

Notes to Editors

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.

They frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, travellers, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.

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. However, in order to utilise the un-used 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; or
3. persons with a disability.

Social enterprises work in many ways to assist people in these categories.