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International Fund for Ireland Provides EUR 200,000 in Funding for Enterprise Networking Support Programme in Donegal

Published on:  03 May 2006

The board of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has approved financial assistance of up to EUR200,000 to a Donegal-based programme that will assist community enterprise projects in engaging in cross-border and cross-community networking, and help them work towards financial stability.

The board of the IFI at its meeting in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, this week approved the granting of up to EUR 200,000 for one year on a pilot basis to the Community Enterprise Networking Support Programme, which is being jointly funded by Udaras na Gaeltachta.

This pilot project in the Donegal Gaeltacht, which is one the most socially disadvantaged regions in Ireland, is designed to assist community owned social economy projects jointly funded by IFI and Udaras na Gaeltachta such as co-operatives, community trusts and not-for-profit companies. This will be achieved by offering them financial assistance in the areas of business plan development, marketing, mentoring, training for Board members, and cross-border and/or cross-community networking.

IFI is supporting this initiative under its new EUR12.5m community based economic regeneration programme, which will work with the most-disadvantaged communities on either side of the border. This programme encourages reconciliation through economic development, promoting the concept of a shared future, demonstrating the benefits of working together, reducing tension in interface areas and supporting the development of shared goals by communities.

Commenting on the funding of the Community Enterprise Networking Support Programme in Donegal, Fund Chairman Mr Denis Rooney said, “We are delighted to be supporting this initiative, which is regarded as vital to building cross-border relationships in Donegal. The Community Enterprise Networking Support Programme is in line with the International Fund for Ireland’s new strategy, Sharing this Space, that will, in part, see significant investment over the next five years in enterprise development as we seek to address the root causes of deprivation and unemployment in the border counties.”

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