Social Innovators in Dublin received €50,000 funding to realise greater impact

Social Innovators in Dublin received €50,000 funding to realise greater impact
Business Sustainability
Five social innovation projects received significant funding in Dublin to bring more benefits to communities and economy

The annual Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards 2020 took place in early November, as a fully online ceremony in line with the Irish government Covid-restrictions.

At the ceremony, five awardees received funding from a total pool of €50,000 along with supports which will assist their social enterprises in achieving a greater impact among the individuals and communities that they serve.

Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards 2020

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu delivered the keynote address in which she praised the awardees:

“This year’s Dublin City Social Enterprise awardees are actively and innovatively working to address inadequacies, contradictions and underlying issues within our city.

They are delivering change, progress and hope to individuals and communities while also bringing about economic, community and policy benefits.”

The social challenges that the awardees are seeking to address include: diversity, social inclusion, disability, unemployment, mental health, family support, old-age care, education and sustainability.

This year’s Dublin City Social Enterprise awardees:

  • Outhouse, the LGBT Community Resource Centre.
  • The Open Doors Initiative provides opportunities to some of the marginalised members of the society.
  • MyMind has created a unique movement for community-based mental health services that work towards giving every person in Ireland equal access to mental health support early, affordably, directly, without stigma or delay.
  • The Great Care Co-op is Ireland's first ever carer-owned cooperative in home care.
  • ReCreate Ireland is making art materials and educational supplies affordable and accessible to every sector of the community for all kinds of creative purposes.

Chair of the Dublin City Social Enterprise Committee and MC of the ceremony, Mary Mac Sweeney congratulated the awardees.

She highlighted the importance of raising awareness of both the awardees and social enterprises in general. ‘It is so important that we collectively promote the significant impact that social enterprises deliver in local communities and economies. The awardees, along with an increasing and dynamic array of social enterprises in Dublin, are creating employment, opportunities and improvements where they are based’. said Mac Sweeney.

“This award is going to allow us to work with fifty Primary Schools within Dublin City.

We are going to deliver fifty boxes packed full of materials directly to these schools, which will be accompanied by some creative consultation sessions.

Schools will also get a full membership until the end of 2021 which will give them the chance to continue being creative with minimal environmental impact.”

Kevin McLoughlin, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Recreate Ireland

says Kevin McLoughlin, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Recreate Ireland, about what this award means to them.

The Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards seeks to celebrate and support innovative social enterprises, highlighting their role in the city’s ecosystem.

Great Care Co-op social enterprise - awardee of Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards 2020

Aoife Smith, co-founder and director of Great Care Co-op social enterprise, explains how this award can open up new opportunities to create value in the community through their work.

“We started off to support disadvantaged migrant women in home care and to create equal opportunities in this sector for all. We see that our way of operating will bring a real systemic change in the home care system in Ireland.

With the financial support of this award, we will be able to set up a hub, which usually takes up to six months to sustain itself. This is going to be crucial for us in getting this model out there.”

The programme and competition aim to increase awareness of the important contribution that social enterprises make to building communities, creating employment and developing the skills of the participants who get involved.

The awards are funded by Dublin City Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development and are managed by Inner City Enterprise.

The funding awarded to social enterprises will allow them to develop their plans, activities further and bring benefits to more individuals and communities.

The scheme was first established in 2015 through a collaboration between Dublin City Council, Inner City Enterprise (ICE) and the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City to provide funding to kick-start the creation and development of social enterprises in Dublin City.

This year’s award ceremony was part of a series - which represents Dublin's involvement in the European Commission’s: European Social Economy Regions - 2020 Project. The objective of the project is to build networks of Social Economy and Social Enterprise stakeholders and to raise awareness about the Social Economy at the regional and local level.