Social enterprises come together to discuss the future of €1.4 billion sector

By: February 7, 2014
Aifric O'Malley - DCU Ryan Academy Project Manager and Chris Gordon - Chair, Irish Social Enterprise Network Aifric O'Malley - DCU Ryan Academy Project Manager and Chris Gordon - Chair, Irish Social Enterprise Network

Over 230 Irish social entrepreneurs will meet at the Red Cow Moran Hotel on Monday 10th February to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the Irish social enterprise sector, and to chart the future path of this growing sector of the economy.

Hosted by DCU Ryan Academy and the Irish Social Enterprise Network, the conference, ‘Building on International Experience’, will hear from Scottish, English and Irish experts on best practice in social enterprise development.

The speakers are:
* Fraser Kelly, CEO of Social Enterprise Scotland;

* Sara Burgess, regulator of Community Interest Companies UK and;

* Chris Gordon, chair of the Irish Social Enterprise Network

Forfás, in a recently published report on Social Enterprise in Ireland as part of the Action Plan for Jobs, reports that the social enterprise sector in Ireland currently employs between 25,000 and 33,000 people in approximately 1,400 social enterprises with a total income of approx. €1.4 billion, with the potential to double by 2020.

“Not only is the social enterprise model a viable, sustainable and achievable means of solving some of society’s otherwise intractable problems, it generates income of €1.4 billion per year for the Irish economy,” says DCU Ryan Academy CEO, Ann Horan.

Delegates will examine case studies from both Ireland and the UK and participate in a ‘Thinking Differently’ innovation masterclass. The session will close with a group dialogue session on the future of the Irish social enterprise sector.