The Western Development Commission will deliver a social enterprise-focused event at The Base in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal as part of the Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise scheme (ARISE) on Tuesday, January 24th, from 10:00 – 12:30.
The event in The Base is the finale of a three-part series of events shining a light on the positive work being done by social entrepreneurs. With the success of the first two events in the PorterShed in Galway and The Building Block in Sligo, there’s no better way to finish this series than a trip to Donegal.
Allan Mulrooney, Interim CEO, Western Development Commission commented:
It’s been incredible to hear from real people in our communities - people who see a problem and take the steps to change it. So often we’ve heard that the enterprise itself comes second: the most important thing is the people involved, the people you’re trying to help. It’s that kind of love for your community that really drives Social Entrepreneurs.
Managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the ARISE scheme opens the door for many aspiring and developing entrepreneurs. The event is hosted by Declan Droney, a renowned social enterprise mentor, who is very familiar with the enterprise landscape in the west of Ireland. Declan will be lending his expertise to those in attendance as well as collaborating on stage alongside the exceptional guest speakers. Declan will also lead a workshop, “Lean Canvas for Social Entrepreneurs”, following the public event – an opportunity for anyone with an idea to plan their own Social Enterprise.
“I’m delighted that this event is taking place, and I’m excited to see how it will inspire the next wave of social entrepreneurs,” Declan said.
Donegal’s own, ‘Spraoi agus Sport’, is an award-winning social enterprise based in Carndonagh, Inishowen. Providing services for young families, children, young people, and adults that are included disability and/or autism, Spraoi agus Sport is a perfect example of how a social enterprise can be used to change lives. Speaking on their behalf is co-founder & CEO, Helen Nolan. Helen’s inspiring story is sure to motivate and educate those in attendance.
As well as this, the WDC welcomes Gillian Graham from the Lifford Old Courthouse as she will also take the stage in highlighting how the freshly restored courthouse has been revitalized; transforming it in a way to create employment opportunities in the local Lifford area. With a wide variety of activities, events, and user groups, Lifford Old Courthouse truly is a place for the entire community to enjoy and cherish. This is what social enterprise is about!
The WDC’s ARISE scheme provides funding for social enterprise start-ups, as well as existing organizations looking to expand or diversify. In addition to financial support, the program also offers resources such as training and mentoring, networking opportunities, and access to markets, all of which will be on display in The Base on 24 January.
The social enterprise landscape can often be overlooked, even though the widespread acknowledgment is constantly growing. In Ireland, this sector provides between 25,000 and 35,000 jobs, generating up to €1.4bn in economic activity.
Social enterprises are businesses that are dedicated to creating positive social and environmental impact, while also generating financial returns. They are an important and growing sector in Ireland, providing jobs and services in areas such as community development, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion.
The event in Stranorlar promises to deliver. With guest speakers, as well as an optional training session with experienced mentors, the social enterprise scene in the west is being given the platform to take off. It’s up to you to register online and see for yourself.