Social Enterprise Hub

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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!

Page Contents

  1. New Publication
  2. Case Studies
  3. Social Enterprise Events
  4. Videos
  5. Support

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.”

READ THE REPORT

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

Social Enterprise Exchange Inaugural Conference 

This flagship in-person event for social enterprises in the Just Transition midlands region takes place on Thursday, 29 September from 9am to 4.30pm.

Social Enterprise Exchange will showcase their work and impact in the local community, providing a space for organisations to network and engage with each other. This is the opportunity for social enterprises to contribute to regional policy discussion, hear about market trends from global best practice speakers, and learn from industry colleagues. 

All are invited and welcome to attend! Spaces are limited, so buy your tickets today.

Find out more and register here


Save the Date - 4th National Social Enterprise Conference 

Save the date! The 4th National Social Enterprise Conference will take place at the Morrison Hotel, Dublin on Thursday, 17 November 2022.

More info to come. 

€1.4 billion €1.4 billion

 

Browse Our Social Enterprise Videos

 

Meet Our Social Enterprise Office, Sean Darcy

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 sean@wheel.ie. We’re sure he’ll be happy to help!

Become a Member of The Wheel

Be part of Ireland’s largest network of charities, community and voluntary organisations, and social enterprises.

Benefits include weekly free / discounted training events; special member updates, and; Social Enterprise Network.

Learn More