Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
Social Enterprise Sector
45. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of applications received to date for the Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise, ARISE; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49764/21]
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, and like other businesses, they pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis.
Surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives, and they contribute to a fair and inclusive sustainable recovery.
For Social Enterprise to fully realise its potential in Ireland, it is necessary to build more coherence and raise awareness with the public, amongst social enterprises and other businesses, and across the civil and public service. Accordingly, developing and promoting a wide understanding of social enterprise is a key priority of the National Social Enterprise Policy, and the success of the Policy in a large part depends on the success in communicating the message about what Social Enterprises are.
To this end, I recently opened the 2021 Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise, or ARISE scheme. The scheme has two strands, one for social enterprises and a second for social enterprise support or network organisations, and will provide funding for awareness raising initiatives to increase awareness of social enterprises and their potential.
To date, five applications have been received. It is important to note that the scheme is open for applications until 20th October, and that the ongoing engagement between my officials and relevant stakeholders indicates a good level of interest in the scheme.