On 2 and 3 November 2021, Pobal was responsible for coordinating a series of two interagency workshops as part of our involvement in an EU project called RESET – Regions for Social Economy Business Development.

The Inclusive Employment and Enterprise (IEE) team from Pobal’s Community Supports and Service Directorate (CSSD) has represented Ireland on the RESET consortium, which includes umbrella organisations and Government agencies from a number of EU regions including:

  • ACCIÓ / Government of Catalonia (coordinator)
  • REVES (umbrella organisation)
  • Senate Department for Economy, Energy and Businesses – Region of Berlin (project partner)
  • Region Östergötland – Sweden (project partner)
  • Pobal – Ireland (project partner)

The aim of the consortium is to develop inter-regional learning, share good practices and promote collaboration through a series of workshops with a range of social enterprise/social economy partners.

The social economy sector has been growing and expanding both in Ireland and globally over the past several decades and a social enterprise is defined as an enterprise that has a social, societal or environmental rather than maximising profit for its owners or shareholders.

The workshops featured a series of presentations from Pobal’s Inclusive Employment and Enterprise team, the Department of Rural and Community Development, Trinity College Business School and a diverse range of organisations from the Social Enterprise and Social Economy sector in Ireland.

The topics covered ranged from the specific business development supports provided by Pobal to organisations who are funded via the Community Services Programme (CSP), to details of the Government’s National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland, to hearing about the direct experiences of Irish social enterprise and social economy businesses and the variety of their work. The Irish social enterprise organisations who presented over the two days included; Cherry Orchard Equine Centre, Carebright, Recycle IT and Clár ICH.

In addition, attendees and members of the consortium had the opportunity to discuss these topics in greater depth at smaller breakout sessions during the morning and share relevant learnings from their own country’s perspective.

Pobal are very pleased to be the Irish partner in this EU-wide collaborative initiative and to have hosted and facilitate the third and final of these learning, networking and awareness-raising events.

The project partners will be meeting shortly to review the learnings from the three regional meetings that occurred in Ireland, Catalonia and Östergötland and we will disseminate to our respective stakeholders and the EU.