Social Enterprise Ascend


Leading a Social Enterprise or a Community Hub can be rewarding and challenging all at the same time, and it is almost always ever-changing. 

The Social Enterprise ASCEND programme helps you develop your creativity, your entrepreneurship, your personal leadership and your network of like-minded Social Entrepreneurs who are engaged in similar work. 


Community centres and social enterprises of all types bring joy, connection, education, opportunity and more to communities across Wicklow and Ireland. With the ASCEND initiative, we give you the skills, knowledge, and support you need, to grow your Social Enterprise further. Topics include leadership, innovation, decision-making, resilience, stakeholder management, communications, marketing, finance, digital presence, legal, sales, budgeting and so much more.

This programme organised by County Wicklow Partnership on behalf of Wicklow Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) allows for blended learning online through a ZOOM classroom. There are bootcamps which involve a full day of interaction. These are highly collaborative events with a lot of group exercises and discussion. Skills workshops are a slower paced deep dive into specific competence areas that need building with extra Q&A opportunity for additional contact time with each learner.

We provide ‘Build Your Website’ tips and tricks, ‘how-to’ training and a complete bespoke website for your organisation to help you convey your vision and mission to all, where no website currently exists. 

Mentoring with the content experts is also made available so that you can address questions specific to your situation and drive your bespoke strategic action plans forward with their support. 

The creation a network within the group is a key emphasis of the programme. You can learn from each other throughout the programme and after completion. This network will continue to sustain you as you grow your enterprises across County Wicklow.

In 2021, it’s all about video! We work with each participant to define your ‘WHY’ through both a written and video submission for use in communications across social media and on your website. The WHY is key to the passion which drives social enterprise today.

Lastly, the programme culminates with an engaging showcase of the collective works created to highlight the journey these Social Entrepreneurs have travelled. In the end, you will see many more challenges ahead, but know you have the tools and knowledge to continue on the expedition. This training programme is funded through the LEADER Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

County Wicklow Partnership
Project Ireland 2040
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Wicklow County Council
Wicklow Local Community Development Committee
Wicklow Leader
Arklow Maritime Museum

Arklow Maritime Heritage Museum

The past is not dead, it shapes our present and helps us plan our future.

Our collections help instil pride of place in the local community, educates schools and special interest groups, and entertains tourists (we average 15 different nationalities a year).

15 minute introductory film; guided tour; self-guided browse. Average duration 75 minutes.

Walking tours of historic Arklow depending on numbers.

Coaching for the future

We created Coaching for the future, a programme aimed at parents, guardians and teachers, because we believe in the benefits that can be achieved by following a simple framework.

Our workshops are interactive and will help both the parents and the children, learn new techniques to support open communication, build the child’s self-esteem and build awareness of their child’s beliefs/values/strengths.

We are Creating a new language.

Donard Community Hall Village Garden

Donard Community Hall

“The Meeting Place”
This is our Community Café situated in Donard Community Hall

Fairgreen Resource Centre

Fairgreen Resource Centre – Tinahely, Co. Wicklow

Fairgreen Resource Centre is dedicated to providing a social, educational, recreational and support centre for Older People.

Our centre is also available to hire for training, agm’s, meetings, lecturers, talks and much more.

Facilities include:
A high spec designed; wheel-chair accessible centre
A large multi-purpose room
A serving kitchen
Two bathrooms
A well-maintained garden
Outdoor seating
Car parking
Wifi / Projector / Screen

Contact Barbara at: 08601064206

Kilcoole Community Development Association

Kilcoole Community Development Association

Community Umbrella Organisation working in a coordinated approach in order to achieve the best for Kilcoole. Have in recent years developed a community centre, provided a state of the art playground working with Wicklow County Council, in addition to numerous other activities.

Current project is focused on the acquisition of Darraghville House which has been in the
community for over a 100 years. We are working with the Lusine group on this project, this also includes us looking at an option B. A challenge is avoiding different groups in the community going after the same funding, which is not always the best approach.

Kilcoole is expanding and is a vibrant community.

Lacken Community Centre

Lacken Community Cafe and Shop

This social enterprise will comprise of a community cafe, a community shop and a local history/ heritage information area.

Rathdrum Mill

Rathdrum Mill

Rathdrum Tidy Towns have taken on the task of renovating Rathdrum Mill to save a piece of our towns heritage, to put it back into use to tell the story of our towns history and to put it back into use to provide a place for the community to come together.

If you’d like to help contact us on Facebook.

Stratford Café and Shop

Stratford Café and Shop

Refreshing our village through addition of café, shop, Community room, IT and Wifi access, development of playground and walkways.

Creating opportunities for social interaction for locals and visitors, all age groups, for newcomers and oldstagers.

Looking out for ourselves, making our locality an attractive, welcoming and well resourced place to live and grow in.

Wildacres Nature Reserve and Education Centre

Wildacres Nature Reserve and Education Centre

Nature Talks, Biodiversity Workshops, Introduction to Beekeeping Courses and The Honey Tour are all part of the vibrant Wildacres Tours and Education Programme.

We produce the most delicious Raw Irish Honey and Heather Honey in an environmentally sustainable way, in harmony with nature.

All proceeds from the sale of our courses and raw honey go back into the Wildacres Nature Reserve project.

We look forward to welcoming you and your school, college, business or community group to Wildacres.

All above Social Enterprises and or Community Hubs have and or are participating in the Social Enterprise ASCEND Programme.

Disclaimer: Any reference in this site to a specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by The Entrepreneurs Academy. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Entrepreneurs Academy.