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Common Cents Emphasis on Jobs

It  was good to attend the Clann Credo Common Cents conference in Athlone last week. There were a range of speakers from Sean Coughlan of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, to the very interesting Gerry Higgins, CEO of Community Enterprise in Scotland. Overall the theme was about the job creation side of social enterprise, and as we have stated here many times before, the Ryan Academy believes this is an important factor that should be emphasised particularly at this point in time.

If one looks at the many hybrid models in the US in particular, of social enterprises, many of them cooperative in nature, and how they are developing businesses that help with long-term unemployed in particular, you can see there is a lot we can learn in Ireland. The recent Irish long-term unemployment figures are a testimony to the huge employment issue that are causing problems in Ireland, and the angle that Social Enterprise must push at Cabinet level.  

There was also a commentary about capital funding. This really is a huge issue; if the capital requirements of the best social enterprises aren’t met then a lot of this will be in vain. It will be interesting to see what the final version of the Social Enterprise Taskforce document looks like. Worth mentioning that the Ryan Academy has been asked to participate in this badly needed venture, and we hope that we can help with what already is looking like a key document for social enterprise and it’s development in this decade.

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