Social Enterprise Day takes place on Thursday, 18 November and aims to raise awareness of social enterprises who are businesses trading for a social or environmental mission rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders.

Social Enterprises frequently work to support disadvantaged groups such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities and individuals with a previous criminal conviction. Pobal works closely with a range of social enterprises through the programmes we administer on behalf of the Government of Ireland.

Speaking about Social Enterprise Day, Anna Shakespeare CEO of Pobal said:

“The social economy sector has been growing and expanding both in Ireland and globally over the past several decades. Today, is an excellent opportunity to highlight the significant work and key role social enterprises are playing in communities every day and acknowledge their contribution in creating employment and supporting many Government policy objectives in areas such as labour market activation, health care and the environment”.

Pobal also supports the implementation of Government policy and our work is underpinned by the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 and the Department of Justice “Working to Change” – Social Enterprise and Employment Strategy 2021-2023  aligned with the aims of the Government’s penal policy.

In 2021, the Department of Justice and its two criminal justice sectors, the Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service asked Pobal to assist in the overseeing and implementation of the Working to Change Strategy via the hosting of a Criminal Justice Sector Manager role specifically for Social Enterprises. This new role aims to promote employment creation/employability enhancements for those with a criminal justice past and builds on the existing work Pobal administers under the ‘Kickstart’ initiative under the Dormant Account Funds.

Speaking about her recent appointment and the important work carried out by social enterprises, Siobhan Cafferty, Criminal Justice Sector Social Enterprise Manager explained:

“For a number of years, I have worked with social enterprises, representative groups and the Department of Justice to develop and implement social enterprise and employment strategies for the Irish criminal justice sector. Social enterprises provide unique and important employment opportunities for vulnerable individuals and marginalized communities, whilst also contributing to the economy and local community. I look forward to integrating my new role with Pobal with my continuing work with the Department of Justice’ Social Enterprise, Employment and Entrepreneurship Steering Committee over the coming months to support the work of social enterprises engaged with persons with a criminal justice past.”

For further information about the Working to Change  – Social Enterprise and Employment Strategy 2021 – 2023 please visit