The Cork Foundation seeks support from diaspora

New funding initiative is key to unlocking funds for Cork enterprise

Media Release

8th March 2013

 The Cork Foundation, a new not-for-profit funding organisation established by a group of leading business and public figures to help drive social and economic growth throughout the Cork region, was launched yesterday (7th March) at the Port of Cork, Custom House Street, Cork by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD and the Chairman of the Cork Foundation Strategic Board, Sean O’ Driscoll, Chairman and CEO, Glen Dimplex.

Acting as a catalyst to economic and social development, the Cork Foundation is the first of its kind in Ireland. With an initial target to raise €5 million, the Foundation’s aim is to connect contributors from home and abroad directly to Cork businesses and community enterprises. It will complement existing enterprise support services by bridging gaps in current funding models, addressing many of the challenges facing Cork businesses and communities in accessing credit and bridge finance.  All returns on investments will be recycled back into the Foundation to fund further investment initiatives.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, said: “We are calling on people both at home and abroad to rally together to lead the region into a new era of employment and prosperity. It’s time to work collectively towards generating sustainable job creation and economic prosperity for the Cork region. "

"The Cork Foundation will provide a new and flexible life-line to Cork businesses and community enterprises to help them to develop to their full potential and ultimately, lead to the creation of jobs and increased economic activity,” added Minister Coveney.

A unique aspect of the Cork Foundation is that it will be self-funded after year one through contributions from the Cork diaspora, Cork-based businesses and philanthropists. With the Global Irish diaspora estimated at 70 million people, 3 million of whom are Irish passport holders outside of Ireland, the Cork Foundation is confident that it will reach its target of €5 million.

Leading West Cork businessman Sean O’ Driscoll, Chairman and CEO Glen Dimplex and Chairman of the Cork Foundation Strategic Advisory Board, said: “The Cork region has immense potential due to its infrastructure, resources and the experience and spirit of the Cork people. The Foundation will allow organisations to capitalise on opportunities immediately by providing swift access to funding which is not limited by sector, export capacity, size or funding caps,”.

Seed capital for the Foundation has been provided by Cork County and City Councils’ Economic Development Fund.

For further information or to contribute log on to


Issued by Springboard PR & Marketing on behalf of the Cork Foundation. For further information please contact Susie Horgan at Springboard PR & Marketing on 086 2718163 or email or

Notes to editors:

Statistics sourced:

Potential Funding Examples

Example 1:

Long term unemployed unable to secure capital funding

             Start-up total cost of capital €140,000 for specialist machinery.

             LEADER approved funding at @ 75% the amount of €105,000. 

             Bridge finance of €105,000 and long term finance of €35,000 required.

             Business halted as owner was unable to source funding.


             Cork Foundation bank rolls the project €140,000.

             Leader release €105,000 once machinery has been purchased.

             Microfinance Ireland (SFF) €25,000 term loan.

             Cork Foundation €10,000 term loan.

Example 2:

Technology Start-up

             Promoters first venture (sole/team)- worked in MNC or in other start-up

             Small amount of personal capital

             State supports available through Enterprise Board

             Beta product developed but no sales revenue

             Export focus

             Needs matching finance to access EI to become HPSU

             Supports from incubators in CIT/UCC


Cork Foundation match funding in the form of a loan or equity to progress the venture.

Additional funding examples are available on request.

The Cork Foundation comprises:


             Yvonne Barry, Partner Quintas Chairperson Cork Foundation

             Aine Collins, TD North Cork West

             Conor Healy, CEO Cork Chamber of Commerce

             Paul Healy, Innovation Centre Manager Rubicon CIT

             Barrie O’Connell, Partner KPMG

             Gerard Power, Head of Finance and Economic Development Cork County Council

             Brendan Whelan, CEO Social Finance Foundation

             Enda McDonnell, Enterprise Ireland

Strategic Advisory Board

             Sean O' Driscoll, Glen Dimplex, Chairperson

             Bob Savage,  EMC

             Yvonne Barry,  Partner Quintas

             Aine Collins, TD North Cork West

             Caroline Dowling, Flextronics

             Anne O' Leary, Vodafone

             Padraig O'Riordan, Partner, Arthur Cox

             Minister Simon Coveney, TD

             Micheal Martin, TD

             Minister Sean Sherlock, TD

Credit Review Committee

             Frank Ryan, First Equity Finance

             Gerard Goold,  Kernel Capital

             Kieran Moynihan,  Resident Entrepreneur CIT

             Paul Hands, Innovation Partners

             Tim Cowhig, Element Power

Susie Horgan, Springboard PR. Tel 00353 86 271 8163

Acting as a catalyst to economic and social development throughout the Cork region, the Cork Foundation is a new not-for-profit funding initiative to support Cork businesses and community enterprises.


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Quick facts

The global Irish diaspora is estimated at 70 million, 3 million of whom are Irish passport holders.
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The Cork Foundation will draw on Cork diaspora, Cork-based businesses and philanthropists to fund its operations.
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