A new €1.5 million scheme will help improve and increase the number of social enterprises in Clare, according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

Welcoming the introduction of a scaling-up scheme to improve impact and sustainability, Deputy Carey said social enterprises in Clare play a key role in communities and this was apparent during the Covid pandemic.

Social enterprises work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, they 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 or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.

“This innovative scheme is a great opportunity for social enterprises in Clare to have a real impact. It comprises of two streams, one for medium-scale capital works and the second for feasibility studies being administered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by Pobal,” he explained.

“The drive is to encourage social enterprises which help revitalise towns and villages by addressing economic, social and educational disadvantage. This supports Fine Gael’s ambition and campaign to build stronger, safer communities in Clare.

This funding promotes innovation in the Irish enterprise ecosystem and will encourage a greater contribution to local economies and entrepreneurial activity, productivity and innovative capability,” Deputy Carey added.

Applications can be submitted on www.pobal.ie up to September 15.