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Social Justice Ireland welcomes the launch of the National Social Enterprise Policy

The new National Social Enterprise Policy contains, for the first time, a definition of Social Enterprise for Ireland.  This definition states:

A Social Enterprise is an enterprise whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather than maximising profit for its owners or sharedholders.  

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.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the clarity that this definition brings to Social Enterprises.  

The Policy also contains three (3) objectives, under which 26 actions will be delivered during its lifetime.  These objectives are:

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

Policy coherence is a key issue for the Community and Voluntary sector whose members regularly engage with a number of policies across a several Government Departments.  To this end, Social Justice Ireland welcomes the Minister's statement at yesterday's launch that this Policy would not mean diverting supports from other Community and Voluntary stakeholders.

Of course, it is now a matter of implementation.  The 26 actions, contained in the Annex to the Policy, set out clear timeframes and lead Government Departments / Implementing Partners.  Social Justice Ireland looks forward to engaging further with all stakeholders to support this implementation.