Friday 23 February 2018

Ireland’s failure to grasp Social Enterprise opportunity is costing the economy jobs and economic growth – CPA president

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Ireland (CPA), has called on the Government to make good on five year old promises to promote and foster the social enterprise sector in Ireland.

“Social enterprise has the potential to create 40,000 new jobs and generate an additional €2bn for the economy, but its growth and development has been hindered by a lack of action on the part of Government,” Deirdre Kiely, the newly elected president of the CPA said.

Ms. Kiely also said that Irish social entrepreneurs were losing out on EU funding because of a lack of coherent Government policy in this area.

“The EU has flagged plans to increase the total amount for social enterprises and microfinance for employment and social innovation from €193m to about €1bn under the Employment and Social Innovation programme. But without a coherent Government strategy and structured Government supports in place, the ability of any social enterprise to secure funds from the EU is severely hampered,” Kiely said.

She has called on the Government to take urgent action on this issue.

Social enterprise, which is already responsible for at least 25,000 jobs and €1.4bn in economic activity, not only has the potential to create huge numbers of jobs but also to address the numerous social deficits which have emerged in Ireland as a result of public finance constraints, according to Kiely.

“Ireland faces massive problems in healthcare, education, social care, the environment and many other areas, these problems are partly the result of enforced cutbacks in public expenditure following the economic collapse of 2008 to 2010. It will take many, many years for spending to be restored but social enterprise could address the issues very quickly if given the opportunity,” she said.

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