WINSENT (Wales Ireland Network for Social Entrepreneurship)
WINSENT was a three year project which ran from June 2009 to May 2012. The project was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A). WINSENT initially comprised six partners – two Irish social enterprises, Partas (the lead partner) and BASE; and four local authorities. These are the County Councils of South Dublin and Fingal in Ireland, and Denbighshire and Isle of Anglesey in North Wales. However, in October 2010 BASE formally withdrew due to funding reasons and was replaced by Kildare County Council in January 2011.
The overall aim of WINSENT is to reduce inequalities and poverty by building a thriving social entrepreneurial culture in the local economies of North Wales, Dublin, Meath and Kildare.
WINSENT has three stated aims. These are to:
- Find social entrepreneurs, harness their skills and knowledge and let others benefit from them
- Help those active in social enterprises to recognise if they are social entrepreneurs
- Help them grow further and become ambassadors for social entrepreneurship.
To achieve these aims, the WINSENT project partners worked together to:
- Raise awareness and promote the culture of social entrepreneurship
- Create new social enterprises with entrepreneurial flair
- Support existing social enterprises and social entrepreneurs
- Identify opportunities within the social economy
- Assist community based groups to deliver key services locally in an entrepreneurial way
Number of Social Enterprises (SEs) Assisted
The programme achieved its target of 75 companies assisted, however the emphasis has been on Ireland because of the challenges of identifying social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in Wales. Consequently against a target split of 36 in Wales and 39 in Ireland, the reality has been 11 in Wales and 64 in Ireland. The WINSENT programme has actually engaged with a total 142 SEs, of which 80 percent have been in Ireland.
Number of Social Enterprises Created
The output target of 9 new SEs created was exceeded, with 10 new SEs registering in Wales and 9 in Ireland. A further 81 new SEs received support and advice (29 in Wales and 52 in Ireland) but these could not be claimed as outputs as at the time of the final evaluation these SEs had not registered as a company.