New social enterprise launched to help revive rural towns and villages across Ireland

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New social enterprise launched to help revive rural towns and villages across Ireland

A newly launched social enterprise, Rethinking Rural Ireland (RRI), is looking to help revive rural towns and villages across Ireland in 2021.

Launched in October 2020 and awarded best business pitch at the UCD Innovation Academy, RRI empowers towns and villages in rural Ireland to regroup, rebrand and relaunch through innovation projects.

The social enterprise, which is already working with two small towns in County Roscommon, motivates and refocuses committees to help them develop innovative project ideas suited to their community's needs and resources.

In relation to project funding, RRI helps communities source grants, write grant applications and effectively allocate funds. RRI also provides towns and villages with advice and guidance on how to effectively brand and promote their areas.

Founder of RRI, Shane Cogan, has 20 years’ experience as a human rights worker in the development sector overseas, with a sharp focus on community empowerment, creative thinking and project development. 

Returning to Roscommon last year, he decided to set up RRI and put his skills and experience to use in an effort to help combat rural decline in towns and villages across Ireland.

"We want to bring hope and motivation back to rural towns and villages through forward thinking, community-led solutions. Rural communities need more than short-term grants to fill project gaps, they need long term ideas with appropriate funding," said RRI Founder, Shane Cogan.

"We work with communities to help them develop and fund innovative projects and we devise creative ways to help them re-brand their areas, in order to give them a fresh identity."

If you think Rethinking Rural Ireland could be of help to your rural community, you can email shane@rural-rethink.org.

For more information about RRI, visit their website here.