Social Innovation Fund Ireland, a charity catalysed by the Government in order to establish a fund of significant size and impact to aid the development of social innovation in Ireland, has been named in the new Programme for Government. Last night (18th May), the organisation further highlighted its commitment to social innovations through its first showcase and pitching event, with recent Animate awardee winners.

In September 2015, the organisation launched the Animate Programme, Ireland’s first ‘non-profit accelerator’. In January 2016, the first winners of the Animate Awards were announced by An Taoiseach: ReCreate; Thriftify; CareBright; and Save a Selfie. Through Social Innovation Fund Ireland, the Government will seek to raise a minimum of €50 million to provide growth capital to Ireland’s best social enterprises and innovators, and target solutions to some of our most critical social issues.

Since the winding down of major philanthropic organisations, such as Atlantic Philanthropies and The One Foundation, a potential gap has opened up in the funding of social projects designed to achieve a more inclusive and fairer society. Through Social Innovation Fund Ireland, the Government hopes to close this gap and to invest in ongoing innovation that improves social outcomes and contributes to world-class social infrastructure.

Deirdre Mortell, Social Innovation Fund Ireland CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be named in the Programme for Government. We very much look forward to working with Minister Humphreys as we look to grow a philanthropic fund of real scale. This is an excellent development for the sector and further cements the Government’s commitment to social innovation. Our Animate awardees illustrate the impact of structured funding for social enterprise.”

Speaking at last night’s event, Majella Murphy, Business Development Manager, CareBright said: “CareBright is a social enterprise developing a new model of care for people with dementia. The ethos is to create a home specially-designed for positive living with dementia fully connected to the local community. Since becoming an Animate awardee, we have developed a marketing strategy to promote awareness of our new village model and have undergone intensive strategic planning.”

Eilis Murray, Director of Philanthropy Ireland, said “We commend the Government for providing a challenge fund to stimulate philanthropy as we move into an economic recovery. It is critical that we ensure an inclusive recovery and creating Social Innovation Fund Ireland, and matching all funds raised Euro for Euro is an innovative funding model that we welcome. Structured partnership funding models can achieve real impact”.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland offers three key programme offerings:

· Animate – It is an offering for early stage projects that are innovative solutions to a critical social issue in Ireland. Winners of this award receive tailored supports and a cash award of up to €10,000

· Innovation Challenge – This is an offering to corporate companies for a co-branded Innovation Challenge that centres on seeking solutions to a critical social issue aligned with their brand

· Growth Programme – This programme is for more established projects and provides a fund of substantial size to allow these projects to scale and reach their potential. This fund is currently being raised and is expected to open in late 2016/ early 2017

For more information about Social Innovation Fund Ireland, please visit:

Website: http://www.socialinnovation.ie/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/socialinnovationfundireland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sinnovationirl

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