Local community groups receive cash injections to invest in new technologies

April 2024: Five community groups including businesses, social enterprises and a school in county Wexford have received a quick cash injection to invest in new technology thanks to the RISE Community Fund.

Established by Granahan McCourt and NBI Chairman, David McCourt, RISE is providing monthly grants across the country for rural community organisations seeking to boost their digital ecosystems. The fund is further supported by corporate sponsors including KN Circet, KPMG, Test Triangle, DreamDev Technologies, and TLI Group.

Receiving the grants of €1000 each included Fashion Connect Ireland Ltd, a local business encouraging indigenous garment manufacturing, which is looking to offer online courses to upskill people and create job opportunities in the emerging sector of sustainable manufacturing.

Three community groups also received grant funding, in the form of Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network CLG (ISACS), Ireland’s leading support and advocacy organisation for the development of street arts, circus and spectacle art forms, which is digitising its membership resources; Clonard Guiding Unit, helping 4-18 year old girls with health and fitness, mental well-being, organisation and social skills, which is investing in new technology to teach internet security and coding; and Enniscorthy Community Alliance, a social enterprise providing community employment in areas such as sustainability, amenity development and community horticulture, which is investing in its website and social media capabilities.

Ramsgrange Community School, a co-educational school serving the South-East Wexford area also received a grant to invest in new digital learning tools, which will also be utilised to translate resources for over 50 Ukrainian students the school is supporting.

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of Granahan McCourt and NBI, commented: “The RISE Community Fund looks for community groups, charities, small businesses and social enterprises in rural areas who are exploring how technology can scale the impact of their work. In many cases, this includes ambitious plans to utilise latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies.”

“I’m delighted to say that since opening applications in County Wexford, the response has been incredible and now we’re excited to be awarding grants to our successful applicants. Each one of them is an inspiration, with many volunteering their time and committing a huge amount of energy and passion to bring pride of place to their local community.”

The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI and Granahan McCourt calls on small businesses, charities, community groups and social enterprises to use technology in creative and entrepreneurial ways to deliver maximum impact.

Jenny Etherton from Fashion Connect commented: “Small businesses like ours play a key role in rural job creation and we’re delighted to receive this grant funding from the RISE Community Fund to support our plans to invest in online training as we endeavour to create long-term sustainable jobs for people in Wexford and beyond.”

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, added: “At NBI, we’re on a mission to connect over 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who don’t have access to high-speed broadband to a world-class, superfast network. 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 the positive impact they’re able to have – both to the local community, and to the wider economy. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to engage local communities with the RISE Community Fund and celebrate innovative uses of technology in Wexford.”

NBI is reminding Wexford residents to also visit their website at www.nbi.ie to check whether their home, farm or business is included in the National Broadband Plan and to sign up for Eircode specific updates on the rollout.


Related News