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Minister Humphreys Announces Pilot Dormant Accounts Funded Scaling-up Scheme for Social Enterprise 2022

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, today (29th July 2022) announced a Pilot Dormant Accounts Funded €1.5 million Scaling-up Scheme for Social Enterprise designed to improve the impact and sustainability of social enterprises that address economic, social and educational disadvantage. 

The scheme, comprising of two streams, one for medium-scale capital works and the second for feasibility studies is being administered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by Pobal.

Stream 1 will provide funding for medium scale capital projects up to a maximum of €100,000.

Stream 2 will provide funding for feasibility studies to social enterprises. Grants of up to 80% of the total cost of the study will be provided, up to a maximum of €10,000.

Further details can be found here. Applications open at 10am on 2nd August 2022 and close at 3pm on 15th September 2022.


Making the announcement today, Minister Humphreys said:


“Our social enterprises play a vital role in communities across the country, as we saw during the recent Pandemic. The National Social Enterprise Policy commits to growing and strengthening social enterprise.


“This Scaling-up Scheme for Social Enterprise will provide some much needed capital support to social enterprises nationwide that will enable them to grow their operations, and strengthen their impact on the communities they serve.”


The Minister added:


“This innovative scheme will be delivered in two separate streams. The first will provide funding for medium-scale capital grants to improve the impact, quality, productivity and sustainability of social enterprise operations through the acquisition of equipment, technology, or site and building works.


The second will provide grants for feasibility studies for social enterprises to research their potential to expand, or scale their goods/services offering, with a view to further increase the direct impact of their social enterprise on disadvantaged populations.


“It is envisaged that up to 30 social enterprises will benefit from this funding, which will undoubtedly have a huge impact on themselves, the communities they operate in, and on their customers and service users.” 




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843/ 087-1734633


Notes to editors:


Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis.


However, surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives, rather than maximising profit for their owners. They frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, the Traveller community, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.


National Social Enterprise Policy

Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 was launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development on 18th July 2019, with the objective of creating an enabling environment for social enterprise to grow and contribute more fully to Ireland’s social and economic progress.


The Policy is focused on three main objectives:


  1. Building Awareness of Social Enterprise
  2. Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise
  3. Achieving Better Policy Alignment

Dormant Accounts Fund

The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.


The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.


However, in order to utilise the un-used funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best effect, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:

  1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
  2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or
  3. persons with a disability.

Social Enterprises work in many ways to assist people in these categories.


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