Social Enterprise Supports

Southside Partnership DLR specialises in providing support to the founders / owners of pre-start-up and early start up social enterprises, while also working with developing and established organisations.

There are a wide range of social enterprises in Ireland and many organisations in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown already operate under this model in sectors including transport, media, sports / recreation and the arts to name just a few.


  • to raise awareness and encourage local community leaders and private individuals to explore setting up a social enterprise
  • to support the development and growth of a social enterprise culture in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown


A Social Enterprise is an enterprise whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners of shareholders. It pursues its objectives by trading on an ongoing basis through the provision of goods and/or services, and by reinvesting surpluses into achieving social objectives. It is governed in a fully accountable and transparent manner and is independent of the public sector. If dissolved, it should transfer its assets to another organisation with a similar mission.

(National Social Enterprise Strategy for Ireland 2019-2022)


We provide business and practical skills support, while also developing owner confidence and personal skills. We do this through:

  • Mentoring
  • Training (workshops + short training programmes)
  • Information
  • Networking opportunities
  • Referrals to additional services

Our staff have over 20 years experience working in the non profit sector and, specifically, supporting social enterprises and charities with a trading aspect to their work. Contact us with any questions, and for more information about how we can help you.

Social Enterprise Expansion & Development (SEED) Project

As part of a joint application to the Dormant Accounts Fund, supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Southside Partnership DLR, in cooperation with Bray Area Partnership, has secured funding to pilot a training and mentoring supports project for social enterprises across both Partnership areas. The Social Enterprise Expansion & Development (SEED) Project will run from January 2020 to June 2020 with the following aims and objectives:

  • To deliver tailored training to new and existing social enterprises to enable growth and improve sustainability and to increase social, societal and environmental impact
  • To provide one-to-one mentoring and coaching to social enterprises to enable growth and improve sustainability
  • To provide learning opportunities for social enterprises operating in disadvantaged areas and with disadvantaged groups
  • To raise awareness of social enterprise locally

This training measure follows the publication in 2019 of the first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019 – 2022.

If you would like to find out more about our Social Enterprise Expansion & Development (SEED) Project please contact:

This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Southside Partnership DLR now wishes to invite tenders from suitably qualified mentors for the provision of the mentor services to SEED project recipients up to the end of June 2020.  Please find out more here.

If you are interested in finding out more about Social Enterprise

Helena O'Neill

Social Enterprise Development


Phone: 01 70 60 100 / 087 672 8670  


The 2020 Social Enterprise Development Fund is now open

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund which will be delivered over four years: 2018 – 2022. The fund was created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The Department of Rural and Community Development provides matching funding for all philanthropic funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, through the Dormant Accounts Fund. IPB Insurance is an Irish owned general insurance company which protects and supports their local authority members and their communities across Ireland.

Find out more:

New funding for social enterprises

The Probation Service and Pobal announce the launch of the Dormant Accounts Funded ‘KickStart’ Start-up, Development and/or Job Creation Fund.

As part of the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF) Action Plan for 2020, applications are invited from Social Enterprises, which aim to enhance the development and creation of employment opportunities for people with criminal convictions.

The €1 million Fund will be administered by Pobal. Full details are through the link here.

The Community Foundation for Ireland: Older Persons’ Fund

The Older Persons’ Fund is a long-term philanthropic fund which promotes the civic engagement of older people, as a means of working towards making a difference in their communities.

The Fund builds on our long-standing engagement and commitment to supporting older people in their communities. We have invested over €1m in this area to date.

This year we have the following two categories that you may apply for a grant under:

Inclusion of older people in active citizenship roles – Grants of up to €7,500 will be available to organisations working towards inclusion of older people in active citizenship roles

Supporting older peoples’ voices at local & national level – Grants of up to €7,500 will available to organisations working towards supporting older peoples’ engagement in advocacy.

Deadline: 12th March 2020

Find out more:

Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards

Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards, recognise the spirit of enterprise in towns and cities across the Island of Ireland, bringing business and community together to showcase their efforts to build an economically sustainable community. 2020 marks the 5th year of the awards, previously the National Enterprise Town Awards. There are over 30 awards available from a total prize fund of €200,000 with the overall winning town/city village/urban area awarded €50,000 and the title of Ireland’s Most Enterprising Town, which in 2019 was won by Kilkenny. There is also a Rising Star category which focuses on towns that have overcome major challenges and can demonstrate how they have achieved this. Last year the town of Castlebar took home the trophy and €20,000. Local authorities and local enterprise offices support the nomination of towns, city villages and urban areas on behalf of their own county or city. There is also an opportunity for the public to nominate their own town. Nomination process is now open.

2020 sees the introduction of “special category awards” which include a local town promotion initiative, local community enterprise initiative, local town partnership initiative, local senior enterprise initiative and a local youth economy initiative and a special award for best business district/park.

Entries for the awards will be open from 23rd March 2020 until 3rd June 2020 and the judging process will commence in late August and continue until mid-October. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in December. Bank of Ireland will host a number of Regional Workshops for the entrants, to assist them in putting their best foot forward on the judging day.

Find out more:

Support for our local businesses

One of our social enterprise clients organises a competition. Share the Love! Enter the first ‘Love Dún Laoghaire Day’ competition to show your support for our local businesses.

The inaugural Love Dún Laoghaire Day competition will take place on Saturday, 23rd of May. The goal of the competition is to connect you with the online offerings of the great range of businesses located in the town.

Love Dún Laoghaire Day has been organised by social enterprise Digital HQ, based in Dun Laoghaire.

One of our social enterprise clients re-opens from Monday 18th May. Please see here for details of the reopening process and how visitation will be managed:

Dublin South FM is an alternative to mainstream radio and provides a voice for those under-represented or excluded, through training and access to radio broadcasting facilities. 
Accessible Community Transport Southside (ACTSLtd) provides door to door demand responsive accessible transport for people with disabilities and mobility difficulties across south and west Dublin.                  
Founded in 1953 St Joseph’s Boys AFC is a schoolboy/girl football club based in Sallynoggin on the south side of Dublin.       
Deilg Inis Theatre Company was founded in 2003 and is the only full-time professional theatre company in Ireland devoted to helping people tell their unique stories – in terms of physical place, social history, and literary heritage.

Social Enterprise Booklet    
An introduction to local businesses and organisations making a difference
in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. Please click here to see and to download the booklet.        


The first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 is focused on three key Objectives:

1. Building Awareness of Social Enterprise;

2. Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise and. 

3. Achieving Better Policy Alignment.

Please click here to see and to download the policy.

Useful links:

Shanganagh Park House                             


Dublin South FM                                           

Mounttown Community Facility                

St Joseph’s Football Club                            


Cycling Without Age                                    

The Garden School                                       


Music Generation DLR  

Crosscare Community Café                        

Hellenic Community of Ireland                 

Irish Malayali Newsletter                          

Social Lenders:                                         

Competition Based Funding:                     

Government (non refundable)

The Wheel                                                      

Carmichael Centre                                       

Carmichael Courses                                       



An Cosán VCC                                          

Young Social Innovators                     

Social Enterprise Skills for Business Advisors      

Irish Social Entrepreneurs Network  


Dublin Social Entrepreneurs               

Ideas Collective                                             

Governance Code                                         

Company set-up                                            

Public Participation Network                    

Volunteer Centre                                           

The Grainstore                                              




Enactus Ireland                                            

Social Enterprise Booklet

Please click here to see and download the booklet.        

Social Enterprise Toolkit