Grants will empower the digital strategies of businesses, community groups and social enterprises in rural Ireland

15th March 2022: RISE Global Foundation, the privately funded foundation launched last year to empower businesses and social enterprises across rural Ireland by combining technology with an entrepreneurial mindset announced today its partnership with National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

The partnership sees the launch of the RISE Community Fund supported by NBI, and is set to award grants to empower local businesses, community groups and social enterprises to enhance their digital strategies.

Established by NBI Chairman and technology entrepreneur, David McCourt, RISE will commence the fund with five monthly grants of €1000 to businesses, community groups or social enterprises. The fund offers an immediate cash injection into local communities seeking to boost their digital ecosystems.

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of NBI, commented: “At NBI, we’re on a mission to connect every man, woman and child in the country who doesn’t have access to high-speed broadband to a world-class, superfast network. But we recognise that whilst connectivity is a vital utility and a critical first step, it alone can’t solve all of the challenges for businesses, community groups and social enterprises trying to expand their operations and accelerate the positive impact they’re able to have – both to the local community, and to the wider economy.”

“This is why we’re launching the RISE Community Fund supported by NBI to provide grants specifically aimed at enhancing people’s plans to use technology in creative and exciting ways to deliver maximum impact.”

The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI is a national programme that will follow the progress being made in NBI’s ambitious programme building out the infrastructure for the National Broadband Plan, as Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, explained: “We’re starting off the fund by inviting applications across our first deployment areas. First up is Carrigaline and the surrounding townlands, which will soon be followed up by Cavan and then Dundalk in the coming weeks. Every month we’ll open this up to other areas around the country in line with our rollout”.

“In total, our team is working in 227 Deployment Areas, so the size and scale of our ambitions with the RISE Community Fund will quickly grow and bring tremendous benefits all across Ireland.”/em>

Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development and Minister for Social Protection said: “I welcome the launch of the RISE Community Fund, which will provide support to community groups, social enterprises and local businesses in rural Ireland. I believe this is a fantastic development from the RISE Global Foundation and National Broadband Ireland. It is essential that rural communities are provided with the support they need to not just function, but to thrive, and this announcement is a welcome development in this area.”

Small businesses, community groups and social enterprises with plans to use technology to scale their operations and bring tangible benefits to their local communities are encouraged to visit for entry forms and guidelines.

About the RISE Community Fund

The RISE Community Fund is a partnership between National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering Ireland’s National Broadband Plan, and RISE Global Foundation, a privately funded charity. With a shared vision, NBI and RISE are collaborating to tackle the rural/urban digital divide and use technology and entrepreneurship to create opportunities and jobs in rural Ireland.

All grants provided by the RISE Community Fund are privately funded by NBI shareholders and private donations. No State funding is used in the provision of grant funding used by RISE Global Foundation.

About NBI

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government.

NBI’s team brings together some of the most talented individuals in Ireland and across the world, with deep knowledge and experience in delivering projects to the scale of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). This includes developing, building and operating networks and coordinating all the elements required to finance and deliver a project of the size and complexity of Ireland’s NBP.

NBI was established by Granahan McCourt, an international investor in technology, media and telecommunications. For over 30 years, Granahan McCourt has partnered with governments, corporations and communities to connect people through innovation in technologically underserved areas of the world.

For More Information

Orla O’Malley, Programme Director
RISE Global Foundation

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