2nd October 2018
Social Innovation Fund Ireland launched its 2017-18 Annual Review last week, which highlights the significance of building a robust capital market for social innovation in Ireland. Launching the report, Deirdre Mortell, CEO said, “Our greatest achievement was to meet our target to raise €5 million in philanthropic funds. On the back of this, I am pleased to announce the Department of Rural and Community Development delivered on it’s Programme for Government pledge to build a €50 million Social Innovation Fund in Ireland.’’
She added, “Social innovation is at the heart of public-private problem-solving and job creation. In Ireland, social innovation is substantially underdeveloped compared to our usual comparators, such as Scotland, England and even Portugal. However, over the past three years, we have achieved proof of concept of our model and we are now setting out to grow and scale and to firmly place Ireland in a leadership position in Europe over the next five years.”
Terence O’Rourke, Chair of Social Innovation Fund Ireland Board added, “To do this, I am pleased to announce that Social Innovation Fund Ireland is on track to create a €20 million social innovation fund by the end of 2018. To drive our growth, we are pleased to announce the strengthening of the Social Innovation Fund Ireland Board with two new Board members – Niamh O’Donoghue and Barbara McCarthy.”
Highlights from the 2017-2018 Social Innovation Fund Ireland Annual Report confirm that over 600 applications for funds were received. There were 9 issue-based calls for applications; and 31 (new) social innovations in the areas of education, homelessness, health, mental health and more. There was a five-fold increase in income from €582,924 in 2016 to €2,875,853 in 2017. In addition, grant expenditure increased from €285,344 in 2016 to €2,351,984 (an eight-fold increase). Collectively, the 2017 Social Innovation Fund Ireland awardees have created 45 new jobs; impacted the lives of over 37,000 people and raised over €500,000 in follow-on-funding.
Welcoming the report, Minister of State Seán Kyne T.D. said, “I am proud to support Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s groundbreaking work. In just three years, they have demonstrated that Ireland’s communities are innovating to tackle the social issues that affect them, and that with grant funds and business supports, they can grow and spread.”