Minister Humphreys announces a National Census to establish key information about social enterprise in Ireland

  • Inclusive project will involve all social enterprise stakeholders.


Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, today, 12th May 2022 announced a new initiative designed to gather key information about social enterprise in Ireland.

The National Social Enterprise Census will gather important data about social enterprises in Ireland.

The initiative will help inform policy and the rollout of future supports in a move aimed at benefitting the Social Enterprise Sector.

Following a competitive tender process, the project is being delivered on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development by Amárach Research, in partnership with Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI) and the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN).


Making the announcement today, Minister Humphreys said:

“Our social enterprises play such a vital role in communities across the country, as we saw during the recent Pandemic.

“As the Department overseeing National Social Enterprise Policy, it is vital that we have as much reliable data as possible about social enterprises in Ireland.

“This initiative will be key to informing future policy decisions as well as the type of supports our social enterprises need. And it will also help us to deliver on our commitments under ‘Our Rural Future’ – of which our social enterprises form a key part.”

The Minister added:

“Historically, the lack of concrete data has impeded efforts regarding the provision of supports for, and raising awareness of, social enterprise. This is an opportunity to establish a reliable evidence base necessary for future policy development and delivery, which will benefit the sector.

 “I am delighted to see the Consortium led by Amárach Research, in collaboration with SERI and the ILDN, has already started work on this landmark project.

“I am pleased too that all social enterprise networks and support organisations are involved in the process to ensure maximum inclusivity.”

Social Enterprises are businesses for social good, creating jobs and generating impact in sectors such as the circular economy, social care, hospitality and retail.

This exercise will identify key data in aggregate form such as the total number of social enterprises in Ireland, their regional spread, the primary sectors they are active in, their staffing levels and traded income.

This will ensure the Department is in a much better position to support the sector and develop social enterprise policy, with a strong and robust evidence base.      

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