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.


  • 'Jump Start Your Social Enterprise' Training Programme: Dublin City Council supported this Dublin Institute of Technology pilot programme.

The primary aim is to: Provide early-stage social entrepreneurs with training and information so that they can better identify and evaluate a market opportunity for a social enterprise. The key outcome is that participants will develop a comprehensive business plan for their venture. As it is a pilot programme and is linked to research on social enterprise development, it is free for participants. The programme commenced on June 7th 2018 and runs on successive Thursday and Tuesday afternoons from 2.00pm until 4.30pm for 5 weeks taking place at DIT Aungier Street. For further information on the course and to register for any future course places

  • Social Enterprise PLATO Programme. This 12 month programme was created to support senior managers / main promoters of social enterprises and assist them to develop their social enterprises through: peer learning, networking, site visits and case study learning. It is intended to run the programme again in Qtr 4 2018


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. 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 that there was a gap in the market for social enterprises to assess seed funding to kick-start the creation 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:

  • 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:

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  To see tdownload 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.

National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019 - 2022