Elaine McGrath, enterprise officer with CCLD.

Funds to help people with disabilities into self employment

Cavan County Local Development (CCLD) is seeking submissions for a grant aid programme looking to assist people with disabilities into self employment.

CCLD were awarded €12,000 under the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF) to help facilitate the employment potential of individuals with a disability looking to establish businesses.

The DAF enables unclaimed funds from accounts in credit institutions in Ireland to be used for social good. The money is used to help economically or socially disadvantaged people by supplying opportunities for personal and social development; the educationally disadvantaged: or those with a disability.

A dormant account is an account that has had no customer-initiated transactions for 15 years. Life assurance policies with a specified term are considered dormant five years after the end of that term.

“It's specifically targeted at people who are on disability and are looking to become self employed,” Elaine McGrath, enterprise officer with CCLD, told the Celt.

The money is made available to CCLD through Pobal, the Government agency supporting communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development.

“We have received Dormant Accounts funding in the past. It was used in a number of educational projects. This time around the money is directed toward removing barriers from people experiencing disability. I work as the enterprise officer in CCLD. I see people who are looking to get on back to work enterprise allowance schemes, schemes that allow people hold on to welfare payments for a period of time whilst entering self employment. These grants are geared toward helping that particular sector of the community,” Elaine explains.

She says the €12,000 available is a starting point: “This is a pilot scheme to see how many people can be helped with the funding. If it proves to be successful, we will look to incorporate it into the main programme.”

Small enterprises, sole traders, retail, and services can avail of the grants. Assistance can be provided to this group as one-to-one mentoring tailored to the person's needs. Technical aid may also be provided.

Anyone who would like to hear more can contact CCLD: “We are back meeting people face to face. Once a person is on a claim for disability they can avail of the support we are offering.”