Social Entrepreneurship

Social Enterprises are being increasingly recognised as an effective means for delivering community, social and economic development through innovative, integrated and cooperative methods and operations.

In Dublin; social enterprises, social entrepreneurs and associated support organisations have been steadily increasing and developing over the last few years.

Dublin City Council, through its’ Economic Development Office, partnerships and the Dublin City Social Enterprise Committee seeks to encourage and support sustainable and strategic social enterprise and social innovation development in the city. Support provided to social enterprise and social innovation development includes: Training, Mentoring, Awards, Resources and Promotion of social enterprises through articles on Further information is provided below under these topics.


Specific social enterprise training courses have been led by and / or supported by LEO Dublin City in the past. Social enterprises can also avail of and attend the standard and regular LEO Dublin City courses and workshops on relevant topics such as: start your own business, sales, tax, marketing etc. Upcoming training courses and workshops are listed here


Social Entrepreneurs can book mentoring sessions from the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City mentor panel. Mentors are experienced business people who can offer advice to individuals / enterprises to identify and overcome obstacles in the development stages. The mentor panel is made up of experienced business people, all of whom have considerable expertise and skills. Click to book

Awards - Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards.

The scheme was established in 2015 by Inner City Enterprise (ICE) and Dublin City Council with the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City. These partner organisations recognised there was a need to provide grants to kick-start the creation and development of social enterprises in Dublin City.

The programme and competition also aims to increase awareness of the important contribution that social enterprise makes to building communities and creating employment and developing the skills of the participants who get involved. The awards granted to the successful applicants allows them to further develop their plans and activities and bring the benefits of their social enterprise to more individuals and communities.

Previous winners of the awards are:

  • 2019 Winners: The Grow Dome Project; Siel Bleu; First Light; Mellowspring; Frontline Make Change; My Streets Ireland
  • 2018 Winners: Spark Ireland; Pace - Mug Shot; Quality Matters - We Make Good; Robert Emmet CDP / In Our Shoes Walking Tours; Rediscovery Fashion
  • 2017 Winners:  Mendicity Institution; Abhaile; Adventure Centre; Darndale Belcamp Handy Helpers; Dress for Success Dublin;
  • 2016 Winners: Aspire;  House Of Akina; Recreate; Third Space;  The Yard Crew @ Solas Project;
  • 2015 Winners: Dome Grown; Eco Mattress Recycling; Walkinstown Green Social Enterprises; Thriftify

Video Case Studies of winners are available at:

An Impact Report on the Dublin City Social Enterprise Awards is available here

Resources - Social Enterprise Toolkit

Dublin City Council in partnership with Community Finance Ireland, Irish Social Enterprise Network and Dublin South City Partnership sponsored and supported Ireland’s first Social Enterprise which is a - A resource for communities and individuals setting up a social enterprise in Ireland. View / download the toolkit

Social Enterprise Toolkit


Dublin City Council also supports social enterprise and innovation development through the Dublin City Social Enterprise Committee (SEC). This committee is comprised of key social enterprise stakeholders and representatives and reports to the Economic Development, and Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee of Dublin City Council. The SEC has adopted a strategic approach which includes:

  • The Social Enterprise Committee will identify specific areas of need and opportunity for social enterprise as an opportunity for co-creation within the council
  • The Social Enterprise Committee will review suitable business sectors for Social Enterprise particularly strong growth sectors that have a developed ecosystem and that have significant scale  or potential to grow in Dublin City.

The work of the committee and the various social enterprise initiatives conducted by LEO Dublin City align with the:

National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019 - 2022