Business Irish

Friday 23 March 2018

Full of good ideas? Want to solve social problems? This competition could be for you

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

‘Don’t let a good idea go to waste’ is the call from an Irish group who is looking for ambitious individuals with ideas to create social change in Ireland.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has just launched their 2017 Awards Programme, which recognises and rewards the most innovative ideas and energetic entrepreneurs to solve social problems here

The DCC supported national contest offers the top eight entrepreneurs substantial funding and support with potential for further investment and development opportunities.

As well as an immediate €10,000 in unrestricted funding, they will receive a place on an accelerator programme worth €15,000, with access to over 150 pro-bono supporters, coaches and mentors.

The programme will explore options for further funding and support from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, which historically ranges from €20,000 to €300,000 in value.  

These winners will join Ireland’s largest network of social entrepreneurs., following in the footsteps of success stories such as FoodCloud's Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien.

Other previous winners include John Evoy with Irish Men’s Sheds Association, a place in the community for men to connect and create meaningful projects; and Dara Connolly with ReCreate, which takes unwanted materials from businesses and turns them into art materials for schools and families that couldn’t otherwise afford them.

Some 15 entrants with early-stage ideas will win a place at the Academy for Social Entrepreneurs

"We support people who have an entrepreneurial drive, people who think big and have the ambition and energy to see their ideas realised, so that the social problem they are tackling may one day be a thing of the past," Darren Ryan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said.

"If you have an idea or project to make a positive impact, apply to us. If we believe in it, we’ll back you.”

Applications to the Awards programme and the Academy open today, February 22nd, closing at 5pm on March 29th. A series of roadshows - public workshop and training events for aspiring social entrepreneurs - are scheduled around the country in the coming weeks. Interested candidates can apply or find out more at 

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