PRESS RELEASE –23rd July 2018: PAUL Partnership is making more supports available for social enterprises in Limerick City.  With a new national policy for social enterprise in the pipeline, this free local service is timely.

Social enterprises are enterprises that trade for a social purpose, and where any profits earned from trading activity are reinvested into achieving its social objective.  Social enterprises provide a wide range of public goods and services that would probably not be delivered by either the private sector or the State.  Social enterprises can vary from small independent operators to larger community-based enterprises, and are involved in areas as diverse as childcare, community cafes, recycling, healthcare, employment supports, training, youth work, social care, community gardens, meals on wheels, nature and wildlife projects and more.

As with any business sector, establishing and developing a sustainable social enterprise can present many challenges. These can range from sourcing and accessing funding, developing market share, to deciding if and how to scale up.  However, a free support service for social enterprises in Limerick City has been available through the PAUL Partnership for well over a decade.  This dedicated service assists both existing social enterprises as well as organisations who are exploring ideas for a social enterprise.  Michael Gleeson, PAUL Partnership Social Enterprise Officer states, “the range of issues is so diverse, so the approach we are taking is very much ‘one to one’ initially. Whether you are a social enterprise of long standing who wants to re-look at some of your structures or finances, or you have an idea you want to explore or are even just looking for ideas, we can help.”

PAUL Partnership has a range of community and business development expertise in house and is also connected with a wide range of government programmes and services. A key aspect of the Social Enterprise Support Service is to link social enterprises into the most appropriate supports for them.  As Michael says, “there is a lot of support and goodwill out there for social enterprises, but if you are running one it can be hard. A key part of our role is to assist social enterprises in making sense of it all, to access the most appropriate supports and avoid going down ‘blind alleys’.  Publication of the new national policy on social enterprise is expected within weeks.

The PAUL Partnership Social Enterprise Service is provided as part of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and Michael can be contacted in the PAUL Partnership on (061) 419388 or by email on mgleeson@paulpartnership.ie.

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020