In July 2019, the Department of Rural and Community Development published a National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland.
The Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 is one initiative being taken by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Policy to support social enterprises and is complementary to other supports provided by the Department.
It is anticipated that the small scale nature of the grants under this scheme will particularly benefit smaller or start-up social enterprises which do not necessarily have the capacity to compete for larger grants, but which nonetheless have a need for upgraded/additional equipment to help them to deliver their services.
The scheme is being administered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by the network of Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) across the country.
The deadline for receipt of completed DLR applications is: 11pm Wednesday 13th October 2021
Only social enterprises, as defined in the National Social Enterprise Policy (see below), may apply under this scheme. All applicants will be checked and verified to ensure they meet the definition. Applicants who do not meet this definition will not be considered.
"A Social Enterprise is an enterprise whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders. It pursues its objectives by trading on an ongoing basis through the provision of goods and/or services, and by reinvesting surpluses into achieving social objectives. It is governed in a fully accountable and transparent manner and is independent of the public sector. If dissolved, it should transfer its assets to another organisation with a similar mission."
National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022
Amounts approved to social enterprises will be subject to the total number of applications approved and the overall budget available.
Under this scheme, grants will be provided to social enterprises towards small scale capital costs. Capital costs incurred by social enterprises for the purchase of equipment are eligible. Repairs and refurbishment of existing facilities can also be funded.
The scheme does not provide funding for operating costs (e.g. the employment of staff, electricity costs, heating costs, etc.) or administrative costs.
Only expenditure incurred after the date of grant approval will be eligible. The grant may cover all, or part of, the purchase or works in question. However, the full cost of the purchase or works must be provided on the Application Form.
Applicants will be required to confirm that their organisation meets the definition of a social enterprise as set out in the National Policy. Applicants will be asked to explain the purpose for which the grant is sought. Factors such as demonstrable need and the potential impact of the grant on service delivery will also be taken into account.
All applications will be reviewed by the LCDCs to verify that the applicant meets the definition of a social enterprise as set out in the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland. Final decisions on funding approvals will be made by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The deadline for receipt of completed DLR applications is: 11pm Wednesday 13th October 2021.
The upper limit of any grant will be €10,000. It is expected that applications will not normally exceed this upper limit. Additional funding above this may be provided to exceptional projects where funding is available.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome via the relevant LCDC. Successful applicants will have until 5pm 11th February 2022 to draw down the grant, based on evidence of completed purchases or works. Evidence of completed purchases / works will include relevant invoices & photos.
Terms and Conditions
- Only social enterprises as defined by the National Social Enterprise policy will be eligible for funding under this scheme.
- The upper limit of any grant will be €10,000. It is expected that applications will not normally exceed this upper limit. Additional funding above this may be provided to exceptional projects where funding is available.
- The information supplied by the applicant must be accurate and complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.
- Misinformation may lead to disqualification and/or the repayment of any grant made.
- All information provided in respect of the application for a grant will be held electronically. The Department reserves the right to publish a list of all grants awarded on its website.
- The Freedom of Information Act applies to all records held by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Local Authorities.
- The application must be signed by the Chairperson or CEO/MD of the social enterprise.
- It is the responsibility of each social enterprise to ensure that it has proper procedures and policies in place including appropriate insurance where relevant.
- Evidence of expenditure, receipts / invoices must be retained and provided to the LCDC or their representative if requested.
- The Dormant Accounts Fund and the Department of Rural and Community development must be publicly acknowledged in all materials associated with the purpose of the grant.
- Generally no third party or intermediary applications will be considered.
- Late applications will not be considered.
- Breaches of the terms and conditions of the grants scheme may result in sanctions including disbarment from future grant applications.
- By completing this Application Form, you consent to the data on the form, as required, being transferred to the Department of Rural and Community Development to enable a decision to be made on your application.
- Successful applicants may be subject to audit by the LCDC or the Department of Rural and Community Development.
- Documentation relating to the purchase of equipment or the completion of works should therefore be maintained for inspection for a period of 7 years.
DLR Applicants will be advised that all enquiries in relation to the Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 205 4893
Statement on Public Finances
If you are in receipt of public funding you should:
Understand the purpose and conditions of the funding and the outputs required.
Apply funding only for the business purposes for which they were provided.
Apply for funding drawdown only when required for business purposes.
Seek clarification from the grantor where necessary – on use of funds, governance and accountability arrangements.
Ensure appropriate governance arrangements are in place for:
Oversight and administration of funding.
Control and safeguarding of funds from misuse, misappropriation and fraud.
Accounting records which can provide, at any time, reliable financial information on the purpose, application and balance remaining of the public funding.
Accounting for the amount and source of the funding, its application and outputs/outcomes.
Be in a position to provide evidence on:
Effective use of funds.
Value achieved in the application of funds.
Avoidance of waste and extravagance.
Manage public funds with the highest degree of honesty and integrity.
Act in a manner which complies with relevant laws and obligations (e.g. tax, minimum wages).
Procure goods and services in a fair and transparent manner.
Act fairly, responsibly, and openly in your dealings with your Grantor.