The Wheel Welcomes New National Social Enterprise Policy

The Wheel has warmly welcomed the announcement today of the government’s National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019- 2022.

Ivan Cooper, Director of Policy with The Wheel - which represents 1,600 community and voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises across the country - said that the policy has the potential to deliver thousands of new jobs at community level in every region of the country. It will specifically support the development of social enterprise activity as a vital component of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.

“As the first of three interrelated policies due from the government in 2019, the National Social Enterprise Policy represents a unique commitment by Minister Michael Ring and the Government to support and develop the community and voluntary sector. New strategies on volunteering as well as local and community development are expected later this year” said Mr. Cooper.

Ivan Cooper added that the forthcoming Budget 2020 should allocate dedicated funding to assist the sustainable development of social enterprise activity, and increased funding for the community and voluntary sector more generally. “Dormant accounts funding, which is already in place for social enterprises, should be further expanded and be accompanied by a dedicated budget line to support the Department of Rural and Community Development’s social enterprise initiative. It will also be important that the many non-financial elements in the policy - such as the provision of advice, mentoring and other supports - are fully delivered by other government departments and agencies. The Department must also ensure that all trading community and voluntary organisations can benefit from the policy” he said.

The Wheel was a founding member of the Social Enterprise Task Force (SETF) in 2009 which has worked to promote the concept of community-based job creation where profits are used for further community benefit instead of private gain.

“We look forward to working closely with the Department and government during the implementation phase of this policy,” said Mr. Cooper.

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