Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) over the past 30 years has supported the establishment and development of Social Enterprises across a range of sectors including tourism, community services, childcare organisations, and climate action.

A social enterprise has many definitions, but the unifying goal is the promotion of social or environmental welfare rather than making or maximizing profits. Social enterprises in Clare work in many sectors: Improving the environment, strengthening community supports, supporting employment opportunities locally and regionally and working for the overall betterment of society.

The next step in CLDC’s ongoing support to Social Enterprise is to facilitate the development of a local network to compliment the national networks such as the Irish Social Network & Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland.

On Tuesday the 17th of January CLDC launched the Clare Social Enterprise Network. Twenty social enterprises came together in Ennis. The group had an opportunity to network, knowledge share and hear from the following speakers:

Agnes O’Shaughnessy, LEADER Co-ordinator, Clare Local Development Company, Michelle Guthrie, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Local Enterprise Office Clare, and Pauline Gannon: Co-founder and director of Social Impact Ireland.

In her presentation Agnes gave an overview of the results of a needs analysis survey completed by Social Enterprises. She highlighted that the network was a space for Social Enterprise to have a  shared voice. Michelle identified several supports available to Social Enterprises and encouraged participants to connect with Local Enterprise Office Clare. Pauline inspired the audience with her presentation on the Social Enterprise journey reminding social enterprises ‘Social Impact is the only future … be the change you want to see in the Impact space!’

CLDC have planned a calendar of future events throughout 2023 to offer networking opportunities and soft support in the common issues facing Social Enterprises including

  • Fundraising / revenue generation.
  • Business planning
  • Strategy Planning and Sustainability
  • Communication and Marketing
  • Legal & HR – recruitment & management

The primary aim of the network is to give Social Enterprises in Clare a platform to interact with other like-minded people, to ask questions, share ideas, experiences & learnings, and to identify opportunities for working together and for wider collaboration.

If you would like to be added to our database to be included in the invites for the 2023 events, please contact Aisling de Klerk at