The Kildare Social Enterprise Programme


Do you run a Social Enterprise or do you have a good Social Enterprise idea that could help build stronger communities? The County Kildare LEADER Partnership is looking for Kildare-based Social Enterprises to take part in the Kildare Social Enterprise Programme to help develop Social Enterprises in the county. The programme will be run by Clann Credo and the Irish Social Finance Centre.

Social Enterprises are organisations which help resolve social, economic and environmental challenges. They create jobs, provide services and facilities and help build stronger communities. Examples of Social Enterprises include: community centres; men’s sheds; community crèches or community tourism projects.

Social Enterprise is a growing sector of the Irish economy worth over €1.9bn annually and employing over 33,000 people (Forfás 2013).

County Kildare LEADER Partnership has seen the potential that Social Enterprise has for building stronger communities so it has set up the Kildare Social Enterprise Programme for groups and individuals with Social Enterprise ideas.

“County Kildare LEADER Partnership has worked with a large number of Social Enterprises throughout Kildare over the years. These are enterprises which are providing jobs, services and facilities and all with a common aim of creating a more diverse and inclusive society”, says Pat Leogue, General Manager of County Kildare LEADER Partnership. “We have recently developed a profile of Social Enterprises and an outline for Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship Strategy. As part of this we decided to set up the Kildare Social Enterprise Programme under the Rural Development-LEADER Programme to provide Social Enterprises with the assistance and tools they need to become sustainable”.

The Kildare Social Enterprise Programme will be run by Clann Credo, Ireland’s leading provider of Community Loan Finance and its sister company, the Irish Social Finance Centre.

Clann Credo has provided over €90m in community loan finance to over 900 community projects nationwide while the Irish Social Finance Centre promotes and supports the development of Social Enterprise in Ireland.

“We have worked closely with hundreds of Social Enterprises in Ireland over the past two decades providing Community Loan Finance for their projects”, says Clann Credo’s CEO, Paul O’Sullivan, “We want to use our knowledge and expertise to help Social Enterprises to develop and the Kildare Social Enterprise Programme is a great opportunity to do this.”

Some examples of Social Enterprises in County Kildare include: Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park; Clane GAA community café; McAuley Place in Naas, providing residential apartments for older people, an arts and cultural centre, tea rooms and a community centre; Suncroft Community Centre and The Acre Project, Celbridge, providing eco-friendly training and education for the community.

The Kildare Social Enterprise Programme is designed to provide a wide range of skills necessary to set up and operate a social enterprise, including business planning, finance and funding, marketing and communications as well as measuring social impact.

The programme is free and will run from May to November (with a summer break for August) and will be mainly held in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Information evenings about the programme will be held in

Naas on April 10th at 7.00pm in County Kildare LEADER Partnership’s office in Jigginstown Commercial Centre, Naas, and in

Athy on April 18th at 7.00pm in the Clanard Court Hotel.

For more information and to register your interest in the Kildare Social Enterprise Programme see the Expression of Interest Form and send to Frances Farrell at or by phone contact Brian Kelly on 045-895450