Hi everyone,

We have a couple of questions;

1) we have been operating as a for profit social enterprise for 16 months now and are wanting to become a not-for-profit social enterprise with a concentration on assisting the long term unemployed. Are there any grants out there to help cover the costs of setting up as a not-for-profit social eneterprise i.e. CRO registration, accounts, creating a website?

2) Can a person who is working for the organisation be a member of the board?

We won't be going for charitable status, at least not for at least 12 months.

Thanks very much for any advice you can give.


Derek OReilly's picture

Hi, come along to hear Alan

Hi, come along to hear Alan Costello talk about setting up a social enterprise tomorrow in Carmichael Centre. He would be happy to deal with any questions you have: Go to scheduled training: seminars.

helplink's picture

Thanks Derek, unfortunately

Thanks Derek, unfortunately we are not in Dublin so won't make tomorrow. I will contact them though to see if they can help.

In the interim if anyone can answer my questions that would be great as we do not have the money to pay for 'training' etc we just need a bit of guidance to get us started in the not-for-profit governance area of the sector?

We have already being running as a successful for profit social enterprise but we need to go not-for-profit status as there are some large areas were we want to help but our current finances won't cover the costings.

paul.meade's picture

Hi there,I am the Information

Hi there,

I am the Information Officer for The Wheel. Can you please email me at: and tell me a little bit about what your social enteprrise does? (From what I can see, you operate providing health services) and indicating where you have received funding from in the past. I will try to rustle up a few suitable funding opportunities that you can then apply for.

In regards to your Board question, I have put the question out there to colleagues more learned than me! I will update you with their replies when I receive them.


helplink's picture

Wow Paul thank you so much I

Wow Paul thank you so much I will email you a breif description etc tomorrow if that is okay. I really appreciate your assistance. Briefly, the current company is splitting in two one company remains as a standard company to do with health tech products and the other will become a not-for-profit limited by gaurentee ( 7 member board etc) where we will continue to provide our support services i.e. low cost and affordable counselling, career guidance/coaching and mediation services. As mentioned in orginal post we are also looking at piloting a programme for the long term unemployed whcih will be evaluated by NUIG Psychology Department.

Thanks again 

paul.meade's picture

Tomorrow is definitely fine.

Tomorrow is definitely fine. I'm playing catch up here myself in a very busy week! I should get back to you by Friday with some funding advice (and probably sooner on the Board question).


paul.meade's picture

In fact, here now is the

In fact, here now is the response from my colleague:

Firstly comes the company structure, Mostly it would be a 'company limited by guarantee without a share capital' for those organisations which want to go for charity status. But there are other company structures and other legal structures… ones with shares, privately owned one etc. There is nothing at all stopping anyone run any company they set up any way that they want to. That includes having paid staff on the board or not as they wish.

The only time this would becomes problematic, however, is if you to go for charity status. In that case, the structure would need to be one without shares (i.e. the one mentioned above) and also, there may not be staff people sitting on the board of directors in this case. Seeing as you do not want to for charity status though, that would be a moot point. 

(Something else to keep in mind is, that there is no such things (in law) as a social enterprise.)

You may also want to delve into the following area of our website, which provides additional guidance and information on forming your charity (which has plenty of useful info on structure, even if you are not going for charitable status) etc.:

I'll keep an eye out for your email tomorrow (and hopefully will get back to you shortly thereafter).