An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has officially launched the Social Innovation Fund Ireland, a non-profit organisation set up by the Government to establish a fund to aid the development of social innovation in Ireland. It aims to provide growth capital and support to the best social innovations in Ireland and therefore enable those groups to maximise their impact.
In December 2015, Social Innovation Fund Ireland opened the first Animate Programme, Ireland’s first ‘non-profit accelerator’. The Animate Programme supports early stage innovations, projects and organisations to get to the next stage of their development. The award consists of a package of financial and non-financial supports that target growth. A grant of up to €10,000 supplements the non-financial support and includes: growth planning supports from a business consultant; a mentor; technical supports; and access to Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s networks. Since launching, the programme has received over 55 high quality applications.
To mark this initiative, the Taoiseach presented the first winners of the Animate Awards to:
· Carebright: a social enterprise developing a new model of care for people with dementia called Dementia Hub
· ReCreate: a national social enterprise that takes surplus stock from businesses and makes them available for free and in unlimited quantities for reuse as arts and educational materials for all kinds of creative purposes
· Save a Selfie: an interactive mobile app that allows members of the public to take “selfies” alongside emergency equipment, with the potential to save lives all around the country
· Thriftify: a web-based platform that helps charities realise the true value of unsold donated stock, particularly donated books.
Enda Kenny said:
“Social innovation has an important role to play in shaping the future of Ireland to be a country that is not only economically prosperous but that is a more inclusive and fairer society to live in. It is a vehicle for creating solutions for critical social issues.
” Through the growth and development of Social Innovation Fund Ireland there is a potential for transformative impact on critical social issues, such as unemployment, poverty and health which currently face Ireland. I wish to congratulate all the winners of the inaugural Animate Awards, the high standard and quality of entrants highlights the dedication and commitment the Irish people have for social innovation and funding.”
Deirdre Mortell, Social Innovation Fund Ireland CEO, added:
“The Government’s challenge fund of €5 million to Social Innovation Fund Ireland means that for every Euro of funds donated, we can match it with a Euro from Government, enabling us to double the impact of our donations. These four projects illustrate the power and impact of philanthropy when it partners with Government, creating 80 jobs while meeting local social needs.”