Social Enterprise Hub
Welcome to The Wheel's dedicated space for all things Social Enterprise
We offer advice, training and other opportunities to our community of members. Here, you can find helpful resources that will support those in the social enterprise space do what they do best. This is also the page to keep an eye on for all updates, events, funding opportunities, case studies and more.
Over time we hope to develop our work in this area to contribute towards a dynamic and impactful social enterprise eco-system. Watch this space!
New Social Enterprise Publication: Unlocking the Social Economy, Supporting Social Enterprise: A Platform for Progress
The Wheel, the national association of charities and social enterprises, has called on the Government to prioritise policies that will boost social enterprise and support Ireland’s burgeoning social economy.
The policy recommendations are contained in a new report, Unlocking the Social Economy, Supporting Social Enterprise: A Platform for Progress, which was launched in Clones Co. Monaghan today. The report frames the social enterprise landscape within the wider social economy in Ireland and the EU.
Speaking at the event, Deirdre Garvey CEO of The Wheel said, “Across the world, social enterprises have been pioneers in identifying and implementing social innovations and alternative ways of organising economic activities, for example, the fair trade and organic food movements, and ethical finance. It is part of our heritage and, importantly, it is essential to a future economy that works for people and the planet.
"We call on the Government to create the conditions for social economy organisations to operate and to be treated equally and introduce support measures to enable access to information, finance, markets, technology, infrastructure, and well-regulated and socially responsible public procurement, especially for disadvantaged groups and persons in vulnerable situations,” said Deirdre Garvey.
The Wheel’s recommendations for the Government include:
- Enabling social enterprises to access existing business, finance, and other supports
- Creating a comprehensive social enterprise training framework
- Ensuring public procurement works to include, not exclude, social enterprise
- Raising public awareness
- Committing to sustained data collection on the impact of the social economy
- Supporting the green and digital transformation of the social economy
- Active engagement by Government in implementing the EU Action Plan.
Ireland’s social economy sector reaches into and impacts all areas of our lives. There are more than 11,500 registered charities, mobilising over 300,000 volunteers, with more than 160,000 workers. In 2019, the Irish nonprofit sector turned over an estimated €13.9 billion, of which 44% - less than half (€6.2 billion) - came from the Government. The sector is comparable in size to the tourism sector.
Deirdre Garvey continued, “We need to move from the economic and social model that rewards the individual at the expense of society to one that puts the community at its heart and fosters our responsibility to each other and our communities. This change must be integrated into all aspects of the economy at every level, including our business models.”
Below you will find a selection of brief case studies from the report. We'll also be adding several new case studies here every month, so please bookmark this page.
Upcoming Social Enterprise Events Across Ireland
Dublin Social Enterprise Policy Consultation
On 31 January 2023, The Wheel is hosting a Dublin-based in-person public consultation at the Guinness Enterprise Centre from 9.30am to 2pm. The information gathered from stakeholders at this consultation will then be used to inform Ireland’s next Social Enterprise National Policy.
Organised on behalf of the Department of Rural & Community Development, this consultation will allow those engaged in the space to give their thoughts on key areas, barriers to development and the current status of social enterprise in a collaborative setting. The session will primarily focus on challenges facing social enterprises and, also, on potential opportunities over the coming years. So, bring your expertise and innovative ideas with you on 31 January, to build a policy that adequately supports the continued growth and development of social enterprise in Ireland.
Browse Our Social Enterprise Videos
Meet Our Social Enterprise Office, Sean Darcy
Sean is our dedicated Social Enterprise Officer. He’s been working with us since May 2022 to support social enterprises do what they do best. Previous to this, he managed Renew Social Enterprise, a local work-integrated social enterprise in Waterford that supports the circular economy. If you need any support, advice or would like your social enterprise activities showcased on this site, give him a shout through his e-mail at email@example.com. We’re sure he’ll be happy to help!
Become a Member of The Wheel