Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces €500,000 Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise (ARISE) Scheme 2021

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  • Scheme to increase awareness of social enterprises and their positive impact
  • Closing date for applications is the 20th October 2021


Press Release, Wednesday 15th September 2021

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced a new €500,000 initiative designed to raise awareness of the positive role played by Social Enterprises.

The Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise (ARISE) Scheme 2021 will provide grants to Social Enterprises to promote their role in communities across the country.

The Fund is another example of how Our Rural Future – the Government’s five year rural development strategy – is making a positive impact in rural towns and villages.


Making the announcement today, Minister Humphreys said:

“I am delighted to be in a position today to announce the launch of the €500,000 ARISE Scheme.

“This scheme will help promote the essential role played by Social Enterprises the length and breadth of the country.

“Throughout COVID-19, the value and worth of Social Enterprises within communities has risen considerable.

“This fund is about helping our Social Enterprises to grow and is a key part of both of the Government’s National Social Enterprise Policy and the five year Rural Development Strategy, ‘Our Rural Future’.”

The ARISE scheme, which is provided through the Dormant Accounts Fund, will be delivered in two strands.

Strand One will provide grants of up to €10,000 to Social Enterprises to highlight how their work is improving the lives of our citizens.

Strand Two will provide grants of up to €50,000 to Social Enterprise networks and support organisations to deliver more general or sectoral messages on what Social Enterprises are, as well as their potential to deliver sustainable and inclusive development and recovery.


Minister Humphreys added:

“The supports I am announcing today will help the Social Enterprise sector to raise awareness of the vital role that Social Enterprises play in contributing to a sustainable and inclusive recovery. My Department will continue to work towards supporting the role of social enterprises, as set out in the National Social Enterprise Policy.”

Further information on the initiative and details of how to apply can be found at: https://www.gov.ie/en/news/4ddaf-awareness-raising-initiatives-for-social-enterprise-arise-scheme-2021/




Notes to editors:


Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis. However, surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives, rather than maximising profit for their owners.

They frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, the Traveller community, etc., or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters.


National Social Enterprise Policy

Ireland’s first National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 was launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development on 18 July 2019, with the objective of creating an enabling environment for social enterprise to grow and contribute more fully to Ireland’s social and economic progress.

The Policy is focused on three main objectives:

  1. Building Awareness of Social Enterprise
  2. Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise
  3. Achieving Better Policy Alignment


Dormant Accounts Fund

The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.

The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.

However, in order to utilise the un-used funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best effect, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:

  1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
  2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or
  3. persons with a disability.


Social Enterprises work in many ways to assist people in these categories.

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