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

Addressing the CPA Institute following her election, Ms. Kiely said that Irish social entrepreneurs were losing out on EU funding because of a lack of coherent Government policy in this area.

According to Ms. Kiely, social enterprise, which is already responsible for at least 25,000 jobs and €1.4 billion 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. She estimates that 40,000 jobs and €2 billion in GDP could be generated by social enterprise activity.

In 2016, the Thompson Reuters Foundation conducted a global study ranking 44 countries for their social entrepreneurship environment Ireland ranked 43rd, behind countries such as Colombia, Mexico and Pakistan.

Commenting on the issue, Ms. Kiely said, “Social enterprises can help us tackle many of the issues faced by our society while creating needed jobs for marginalised or disadvantaged groups. The Government must act and act now.”

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