€250k fund to focus on growing social enterprises nationwide

Fund of €250,000 announced by Clondalkin-based social enterprise Oakfield Trust to help entrepreneurs make a social impact in the community.

A new ‘open’ fund has been announced by Clondalkin based Oakfield Trust to the value of €50,000 per annum for five years.

The fund will be released in two phases of €25,000 during each year, with the first application window open immediately until 12 May.

“We are committed to the social enterprise model of community development and want to play as strong a role as we can, not just locally, nationally”

Oakfield Trust is a Clondalkin-based social enterprise and registered charity which has been successfully supporting community organisations and social enterprises in the locality for 26 years.

During that time it has provided a range of property-based supports to a number of projects in the Clondalkin area including: feasibility studies, start-up grants, business development supports, project loans, project management and capacity development.

‘Open Fund’

The new social enterprise fund is its first ‘open fund’ which any interested and relevant party can apply for. Applications will particularly be encouraged from the Clondalkin and South Dublin County areas, but projects which reach outside the locality or nationwide will also be considered.

Oakfield Trust Chairperson Aileen O’Donoghue said she looked forward to the progress, energy and positivity it will build within communities.

“Today we are announcing the next phase in our work, which is open social enterprise funding rounds twice a year for five years totalling €250,000. We are committed to the social enterprise model of community development and want to play as strong a role as we can, not just locally, nationally.”

The open fund includes three categories which are:

  • ‘Scale Up’ funding up to €10,000 for an established social enterprise or entrepreneur
  • ‘Get Started’ funding up to €5,000 to develop a new social enterprise idea towards start-up
  • ‘Explore Award’ to enable an applicant to explore an idea which addresses a social issue.

Oakfield Trust also revealed that it will host an international conference this May. The conference titled Social Enterprise in Ireland: Achieving Real Social Impact and Developing the Social Enterprise Space will take place on Wednesday, 24 May at the Wood Quay Venue in central Dublin from 9.45am to 1pm.

It will include a combination of international experts speaking, panel discussions featuring key figures in the sector, and established success stories presenting their experiences.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.