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Our Vision

Our  vision is to develop the West as innovation region with global links and recognition. A key part of our strategy is to support the implementation of the National Policy on Social Enterprise Policy – National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 ( and continue to lend to social enterprises in the region. To achieve this, we will

  • Promote social enterprise across the region and work with others to build capacity and strengthen the ecosystem.
  • Support companies to identify services and skills and support innovation projects that deliver a real social Impact.
  • Capitalise on the natural resources, communities and skills to position the WDC region as a testbed for new social innovation.
  • Establish the WDC region as a Social Innovation Region to attract new investment and create new highly skilled jobs

Social Enterprise Strategy for The Western Region

Social Enterprise Strategy

This strategic plan was created to inspire and support social enterprises in the WDC Region. The Western Development Commission seek to support the social economy and promote social entrepreneurship and innovation as a vehicle to boost the ability of the WDC region to compete economically, promote inclusive growth and become a social innovation region.



Map of Social Enterprises

Why is this happening? – A key theme emerging from our research is the need to gather data on social enterprises and understand their economic and social impact. The map will

  • Establish the size, reach and impact of social enterprise in the region
  • Help explain and communicate the work that social enterprises do
  • Inform the design and supports of programmes to help social enterprises in the region
  • Inform policy development in the years ahead.

What will it do? The map will help raise awareness of social enterprises operating within the region and promote the model of social enterprise across communities.

Complete Social Enterprise Survey

Register your Social Enterprise

To register your Social Enterprise for inclusion on the map we have created a survey to gather your information.

Why take the survey?

  • The survey will ensure your social enterprise is included on the map.
  • This data will be used to demonstrate the size and scale of social enterprise in the region and to create a directory of social enterprises.
  • This data may also be used in an anonymised way to inform government policy to further develop the sector.

Complete Social Enterprise Survey


Finance your Social Enterprise

We provide Term Loans for differently types of projects, for example, enterprise and job creation initiatives including providing enterprise space. We also support projects providing social and recreational amenities or social care services, for example health and well being initiatives such as Sport, Environment Projects, Community Childcare, Family Resource Centres, Arts & Heritage, Tidy Town and projects which support Community Education. 

Community/Social Enterprise lending amounts can be a minimum of €50k and a maximum amount of €250k over a maximum of 10 years.  Exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Where the entity is a Social Enterprise with a not-for-profit ethos but is deemed strategic in nature to the Western Region then maximum loan amount will be €1m and over a maximum term of 20 years.

For more information on the Community Loan Fund see here

Apply Here

Case Studies

ByoWave – Game For Change 

ByoWave was founded back in 2020 when Brandon Blacoe and Eibhlin O’ Riordan formed a partnership over their shared love of video gaming. Eibhlin’s Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meant that she couldn’t game the way she wanted, so they decided to make a solution that meant both she and Brandon could game on their own terms. Brandon’s engineering and business background, combined with Eibhlin’s game design expertise, meant it was a match made in tech heaven.

Read Full Case Study

CycleUp – Social Enterprise From the Ground Up

CycleUp forms part of the Roscommon Women’s network, and it’s a social enterprise that has empowered women to empower each other. CycleUp is a way for women to receive and deliver training across textiles; it’s all about giving them skills to use how and when they want. The women behind CycleUp reimagine all sorts of materials into products like kitchen aprons, trendy tote bags, bandanas, bucket hats, and pretty much anything you can imagine – even party-style bunting. More importantly, they reimagine the way women’s lives can be lived in rural Ireland; it’s a way to upskill, socialise with others, put control in women’s hands, and contribute to the cycle of people helping people.

Read Full Case Study

Spraoi agus Spórt 

Spraoi agus Spórt is a social enterprise based in Carndonagh in the heart of the Inishowen Peninsula in rural Donegal.  It started life 12 years ago with one idea and three friends; Helen Nolan, Louise Grant, and Ailbhe Hickey. The idea was to make the practicality of parents to socialise with other parents while their children played, easier and more accessible. The trio soon grew to a committee of eight people, and fewer than three months later, Spraoi agus Spórt’s doors were open, and the impact was being felt straight away.

Read Full Case Study

BounceBack Recycling: Recycling Mattresses, Reclaiming Identity

Galway Traveller Movement flagship social enterprise BounceBack Recycling was established in 2017 to create employment opportunities for members of the Traveller community. They repurpose old mattresses, saving them from the scrap heap – or incinerators. Their collection and drop-off service makes it easier for people to give away their mattresses to experts who are able to make them like new. It creates jobs that care about people and the environment and is driven by the following vision and mission.

Read Full Case Study




Social Enterprise Team