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.

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  

South Dublin County Partnership is looking for Social Enterprise Senior Project Administrator & Social Enterprise Project Co Ordinator at the moment.

South Dublin County Partnership: Social Enterprise Senior Project Administrator | activelink

South Dublin County Partnership: Social Enterprise Project Co Ordinator | activelink

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 March  2021 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 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.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the SEED Project proactively met the needs of 34 social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Bray and North Wicklow areas by providing bespoke training, mentoring, networking and promotional videos to our participants. The SEED Project provided over 180 hours of mentoring, 18 workshops, introduced a new local social enterprise network, and created promotional video opportunities for 10 organisations.

Social Enterprises in DLR
Festina Lente Enterprises provides a range of equestrian, horticultural and community based learning, leisure, training, recreational and employment services.

The leading training & employment career hub for people who are re-entering the workforce.
A unique college and social enterprise café in Dublin, the Together Academy will provide people with Down syndrome specialised certified training, on the job experience, future work placements and a critical social and support network.
Ireland’s first ever carer-owned cooperative in home care.
What Matters Most brings you over 30 years of practitioner passion, experience and extensive training in Bereavement Care, Child, Family and Parenting Supports and Marte Meo Therapeutic Services.
THeir mission is to empower adults with disabilities to become entrepreneurs within their communities. STEP UP! are firm believers of inclusion, equality, and empowering individuals to have valued social roles within Irish society and within their communities.
A not-for-profit digital growth hub in the heart of Dún Laoghaire Town providing incubation office space, networking events and promotion of local businesses through our town’s website.
The Hellenic community of Ireland is an association established in 1964, without any political coloring or self-interest whatsoever
Crosscare Dun Laoghaire Youth Service offers a variety of youth work programmes, including Youth Arts, Outdoor Learning, Healthy living programmes, Drop in programmes and a Youth Café (The Beat). We also provide life coaching on a weekly basis and can provide support on an individual basis.

Airfield is not just a beautiful place with a remarkable history, it’s a social and charitable hub, investing in people and initiatives that reach every corner of our community. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.a not-for-profit digital growth hub in the heart of Dún Laoghaire Town providing incubation office space, networking events and promotion of local businesses through our town’s website.   
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.

(ACTS) is seeking an enthusiastic, focused, and diligent Manager. Find out more here.                  
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                 

Social Lenders                                        

Competition Based Funding                     

Government (non-refundable)

Additional options

MicroFinance Ireland            (note: applications for MFI funding go through your local LEO)

Social Finance Foundation 

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                                            


The Wheel                            

Carmichael Centre               

Social Enterprise Booklet

Please click here to see and download the booklet.        

Social Enterprise Toolkit                            

Social Enterprise Mark

Social Impact Ireland has partnered with Social Enterprise Mark CIC, an award-winning international social enterprise accreditation authority, to offer the Social Enterprise Mark to irish social enterprises. The social enterprise mark recognises and builds the capabilities of social enterprises as competitive, sustainable businesses, dedicated to maximising social impact.

‘Social Enterprise Mark CIC provides clear standards for the social enterprise sector. We assure the business model remains credible, ethical and commercial through independent accreditation, which enables social enterprises to prove their credentials. ‘

For more information / register your interest here and you will be passed onto the Social Impact Ireland team:  


TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme and is available in Ireland. They connect NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change with the best law firms and corporate legal teams to provide them with free legal assistance. They also produce ground-breaking legal research and offer innovative training courses worldwide.



An EU FUNDING SUPPORT SERVICE for the Irish civil sector

Access Europe is a three-year programme, led by The Wheel and funded by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to provide a support and capacity-building programme for Irish civil society organisations to better access EU funds and engage in EU policy.



Includes researching and disseminating information about funding programmes and calls relevant to civil society and developing educational materials and resources.


We run information and training events around EU funding and various aspects of successfully securing and delivering projects


Providing one to one advice and support to organisations on their EU development journey.


This involves networking and signposting at national level with various EU contact points and agencies and building networks at EU level to connect Irish civil society to Europe.

For more information:


If there are social enterprises wanting to share their story please contact Spark Change – they will help get the word out on your brilliant work.

Enterprise sector outside of ireland

If you would like to know more information about the social enterprise sector outside of Ireland, please see a report issued by OECD in July. 

Link: OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Title of document: Social economy and the COVID-19 crisis: current and future roles.