The CEO Tait House Community Enterprise, Tracey Lynch, has welcomed the recent publication of a new National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland.
Launched last week by Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, the policy is a first for Social Enterprise in Ireland and the publication of the Policy fulfils a commitment in the Action Plan for Rural Development and Future Jobs Ireland.
Speaking after the government’s publication of the National Social Enterprise Policy, CEO at Tait House Tracey Lynch said: “Tait House welcomes this recent announcement. Its publication represents a key milestone for social enterprises in Ireland and is something that we, at Tait House, have been advocating for many years”, she said.
“Tait House Community Enterprise have been supporting and encouraging the development of new social enterprises which make a fundamental social, societal, or environmental impact. We work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed and to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters”, Lynch added.
The objective of the new government Policy is to support social enterprise to grow in scale and impact. It is focused on three key objectives – to create awareness of Social Enterprise, to grow and strengthen Social Enterprise and to achieve better policy alignment
The new Policy includes 26 measures or actions which aim to be delivered across the three policy objectives by 2022.
Speaking at the launch of the new policy last week, Minister Michael Ring said: “For many years, social enterprises have provided a flexible and effective model which has delivered a positive response to social and societal issues”.
“For a number of years, there have been calls for a Government policy to help social enterprise to reach its full potential. I am delighted, therefore, to be able to publish this National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland which will enable social enterprise to grow in scale, support jobs, and make a positive impact on individuals and communities in both rural and urban areas”.
Tait House Community Enterprise, based in Southill in Limerick, has been working in the field of social enterprise since it was set up by local leaders in 1984 as a response to low levels of employment. The organisation generates employment, training and Enterprise opportunities for the people of Limerick.
Tracey Lynch notes that challenges remain in terms of social inclusion policies for tendering; collaboration at local government level; and policy issues. However she believes that Minister Ring’s announcement is a positive first step towards supporting the development of the social economy.
“There are also many positive motivational examples to support and drive the evolution of the social economy in Ireland which can also be taken as opportunities for learning from the likes of the Department of Justice Social Enterprise strategy. It would be great to see more government departments adopt this to support the social enterprise Sector”, Lynch says.
“The publication and implementation of the new policy will make an impact and help to assist the likes of Tait House and its local and national partners in the sector to grow in scale and to make a positive impact on individuals and communities across Limerick and Ireland”, she added.