Social Enterprise Development Fund 2020

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WHAT IS THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT FUND?

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund which will be delivered over four years: 2018 – 2022. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The Department of Rural and Community Development provides matching funding for all philanthropic funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, through the Dormant Accounts Fund. IPB Insurance is an Irish owned general insurance company which protects and supports their local authority members and their communities across Ireland.

What is this FUND’s OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Fund is to find and back social enterprises that add to the social and economic fabric of their community by way of social impact. The Fund will provide critical support to the most innovative and impactful social enterprises across Ireland, helping them to:

  • Increase their social impact.
  • Increase their traded income.
  • Create more jobs.
  • Develop long-term, effective and sustainable solutions. 

What is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are organisations whose mission is to have a positive effect on society. They generate revenue through their products or services and reinvest their profits back into their social mission. 

Social enterprises are innovating every day by inventing and developing solutions to Ireland’s most pressing social issues. They are creating jobs, tackling disadvantage and supporting community development.

We believe there is a need to foster and invest in these social enterprises to allow them to grow and spread their solutions throughout the country.

what does the FUND offer?

In 2020, the Fund offers up to 16 awardees:

  1. Cash grants 
  2. Places on the Accelerator Programme

The Genesis Programme will provide support to select social enterprises who do not receive a cash grant. The attendees for the programme will be selected across Ireland, ensuring that the Social Enterprise Development Fund offers support to social enterprises in every Local Authority area.

  1. Cash grants

In 2020, the Fund will support up to 16 social enterprises with cash grants and a place on the Accelerator Programme. 

  • Two social enterprises will receive a cash grant of €50,000 each.
  • Two social enterprises will receive a cash grant of €30,000 each.
  • Two social enterprises will receive a cash grant of €20,000 each.
  • Up to ten social enterprises will receive a cash grant of €10,000 each.
  1. The Accelerator Programme

All successful applicants will win a place on Ireland’s only National Accelerator Programme specifically designed for social enterprises. The Accelerator Programme is designed to equip the social enterprises with the tools and techniques to expand their business skills and deepen their impact within their communities and across the country. 

It provides training from best-in-class experts across the private, nonprofit and public sector. Training is provided across a range of functions including strategic planning, impact measurement, finance management, governance, business modelling, pitching, storytelling and more. The Accelerator Programme also includes the financing of business and mentoring supports tailored to the needs of each organisation, such as market research, marketing plans and online impact strategies. 

"The accelerator programme has been a game changer for the Shona Project. It has helped us with the perfect mix of practical and strategic planning so we can make immediate improvements while planning for growth. We have also been welcomed into a network of like-minded people who are on the same journey and the level of support we've received from both our fellow participants and the SIFI team has been invaluable to us. This is a top class programme." Tammy Darcy, Founder, The Shona Project

By joining the programme, organisations will also gain access to a peer network of the best social enterprises in Ireland.

A minimum of three winners will come from each of the urban, town and rural categories. 

Chance to get further investment

"Receiving a Social Enterprise Development award has been transformational for Meals4Health - the funding and mentorship support have been key to helping us develop from innovative idea to start-up and onwards to growth.

The accelerator programme has been powerful - an intense 6 months of workshop training, leadership and communication skill building and connection with fellow social innovators, all with the greatest support of Social Innovation Fund Ireland.  We have taken every opportunity offered to analyse our strengths and goals and to understand what it will take to scale and achieve impact in the community."  Sharon Fitzpatrick, Co-Founder, Meals4Health

Further Investment 

At the end of the Accelerator Programme, all successful social enterprises will have the opportunity to pitch for a share of an additional €100,000. 

This further investment will be awarded to the social enterprises that demonstrate the greatest potential for future impact and growth. 

“The SED Fund has been hugely beneficial to Sensational Kids by further strengthening our ability to grow and scale our social impact. The investment has enabled us to add much-needed resources to facilitate our growth. The accelerator programme has proven to be extremely valuable by providing Sensational Kids with additional learning opportunities that will continue to add value to our social enterprise for many years into the future. This combination of investment and participation in the accelerator programme has given us the building blocks to enable us to progress even further with transformational social change.  Being part of a programme that is led by experienced social entrepreneurs who value and understand our journey, has been invaluable.” Karen Leigh Founder & CEO, Sensational Kids CLG

The Genesis Programme 

For the first time in 2020, the Social Enterprise Development Fund is launching the ‘Genesis Programme’. The Genesis Programme will provide support to social enterprises who do not receive a cash grant. The attendees for the programme will be selected across Ireland, ensuring that the Social Enterprise Development Fund offers support to social enterprises in every Local Authority area. The Genesis Programme will be an intensive two-day residential workshop that will focus on building the skills and knowledge needed to develop a sustainable social enterprise and to be successful in future funding opportunities.

who can apply?

We invite applications from social enterprises that:

  • Have a clear social mission that addresses a critical social issue.
  • Generate income from goods or services.
  • Are already up and running.
  • Reinvest any surplus into achieving their mission.
  • Have a not-for-profit legal form, e.g. companies limited guarantee.
  • Are separate from the Government and state agencies.
  • Have their main impact in the Republic of Ireland.

What are the Social Enterprise Development Fund criteria? 

Key criteria

The key criteria that applicants will need to demonstrate are: 

  • How does the social enterprise impact a critical social issue.
  • How the social enterprise is (or has the potential to be) a sustainable business generating traded income from goods or services.

Advantageous criteria

The applications will also be assessed on how well they demonstrate that the Social Enterprise:

  • Is innovative in an Irish context.
  • Has the potential to scale or replicate in Ireland.
  • Has the potential to create additional jobs.

Other criteria

The Social Enterprise Development Fund will accept applications from:

  • Social enterprises, as defined above.
  • Social enterprises that sit within larger not-for-profit organisations, such as charities and voluntary organisations.

How can you apply to the fund

Stage 1: Applications open from 16 January to 6 March 2020

Applications are open from Thursday 16 January until Friday 6 March 2020 at 5 pm. At this point, applicants are invited to complete a short application form. Based on this initial form, Social Innovation Fund Ireland will identify a shortlist of applicants who have met the required criteria. 

Stage 2: Selected applicants invited to submit second stage application by 31 March 2020

Selected applicants will be invited to complete a more detailed application form. The deadline for receipt of applications for this second stage is Tuesday 31 March 2020. 

Following the stage 2 application, shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews.

Interviews 

Finalists will be invited for an interview which will take place between Monday 27 April and Wednesday 6 May 2020.

other important dates

Announcing winners

The Social Enterprise Development Fund will inform the successful applicants before the end of June 2020, and the awards announcement will follow. 

The Accelerator Programme

The Accelerator Programme will take place between July and December 2020. During this period the awardees will be expected to attend workshops, about once per month, and to meet with their consultants or mentors on a regular basis.  

Applying for a share of the €100,000

Towards the end of 2020, the awardees will be invited to submit a proposal and pitch for a share of the additional €100,000. This further investment will be granted to the social enterprises which demonstrate the greatest potential for future impact and growth. 

The Genesis Programme

The Genesis Programme will take place in September 2020. The dates are to be confirmed. 

Showcase Event

A showcase event will be held in early 2021 to celebrate the impact of the awardees, mark the end of the Accelerator Programme and announce the winners of the share of the €100,000.

Click here to apply

The deadline for applications is Friday 6 March 2020 at 5 pm.

Selected applicants will be invited to submit additional information in March 2020

"We’re really enjoying taking part in the SED accelerator programme, the mix of topics is perfect, and the quality of facilitators is top class. This combination is giving us clarity on what we need to do to achieve the impact we aim to deliver.”  James Lyons Co-Founder Sailing Into Wellness.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is expected of awardees?

Awardees will be expected to take part in a six-month Accelerator Programme, with a minimum of two days per week devoted to working on your awarded project.

How do you define the urban, town and rural categories?

  • Urban: the 5 largest cities – Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway.
  • Town: Any area outside of the 5 largest cities and their surrounds with a population greater than 5,000 people.
  • Rural: Any area in the Republic of Ireland outside of urban and town areas as defined above.

We are looking for the area where you have the biggest impact.

Can you apply for more than one category? 

No, but if your social enterprise is making an impact in more than one area, for example in both town and rural areas, please pick the area where it is making its biggest impact.

Can you make more than one application? 

Yes, there is nothing stopping your organisation making more than one application for separate projects, however, it is very unlikely that we will Fund more than one project from any organisation.

How does the selection process for the Genesis Programme work?

All applicants who apply and are not awarded a cash grant are eligible for a place on the Genesis Programme. Places on the Genesis Programme will be offered to social enterprises across Ireland, ensuring that the Social Enterprise Development Fund offers support to social enterprises in every Local Authority area. 

What can cash grants be spent on? 

The cash grant must be spent on the project that won the award. The specific use of the cash grants will be agreed between the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the awardee. 

Cash grants may not be used to pay off debts or purchase vehicles, land or buildings.

What do we mean by non-financial budgets?

A non-financial budget is a budget that is administered by SIFI and is ring-fenced for items that will support the strategic growth and development of the awardees. Support items that are commonly sourced for awardees from a non-financial budget include consultancy support to develop a strategic plan, a communications strategy or an e-commerce strategy. 

Who will decide who wins the awards? 

The selection process is outlined below. Final decisions are made by the Board of Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

What is the selection process? 

The selection process follows includes the following nine steps:

Step 1 Open call for applications – 16 January until the 6 March 2020 inclusive.  
Step 2 – Review the applications – this will be done by SIFI to ensure all conditions have been met and to identify the shortlisted applications.
Step 3 – Invite sent to shortlisted applicants to submit additional information before 31 March 2020.
Step 4 – Review by SIFI of stage 2 applications – and marking against the key and advantageous criteria. 
Step 5External screen of stage 2 applications conducted by external experts and stakeholders.  
Step 6Finalists for interviews selected and invited for interview. 
Step 7 – Interviews held – the finalists will be interviewed by an expert panel chosen by Social Innovation Fund Ireland between the 27 April and the 6 May 2020.
Step 8 – SIFI do due diligence on projects after interviews. This may include site visits and further research on the projects.
Step 9 Final decision 

If I win a €50,000 investment at the start of the programme, how likely am I to be selected for a share of the €100,000 Fund?

All awardees will have an equal opportunity to pitch for a share of the €100,000 Fund. 

How do applicants find out where they are in the selection process? 

We will contact all applicants by phone or email after final decisions have been made.

What projects are not eligible?

  • Projects seeking funds for scholarships.
  • Projects seeking to fund capital items – buildings, vans, and so on.
  • Research projects.
  • Party political projects.
  • Projects that screen beneficiaries in or out by faith or religious denomination.
  • Projects that do not provide a benefit to people or the environment, for example,  projects that benefit animals only.
  • Projects where the main impact is outside the Republic of Ireland.
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started.
  • Enterprise Centers.
  • Charity shops.

Who is not eligible to apply?

    • A person who is younger than 18. 
    • A person from an entity that has a for profit legal form (examples of these entities include Companies Limited by Shares or Sole Traders).
  • Any staff member from the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and IPB Insurance staff, Directors and their family members. Family members include sibling, parent, spouse or civil partner or child.

what are the TERMS & CONDITIONS OF THE FUND?

By applying for the Social Enterprise Development Fund, all applicants have agreed to the following four terms and conditions.

  1. All applicants warrant that they are over 18 years of age.
  2. All applicants warrant that they have engaged fully and truthfully with the application process and will engage fully and truthfully with the selection process. This includes providing full and accurate information, both written and verbal, at all stages of the process.
  3. All applicants warrant that they are eligible to apply.
  4. All applicants warrant that they have the right to apply. This means that they hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.

Any further questions?

Please contact John Evoy, Fund Manager of the Social Enterprise Development Fund . John’s email is: john@socialinnovation.ie