'These people have innovative solutions to Ireland’s social problems' - winners of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awards revealed
A Geodesic Dome, a sailing programme for recovering addicts, and an affordable housing scheme - these are just some of the ideas to be awarded with funding at this year's Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) awards.
This year alone, the social entrepreneurs supported by SEI are providing services which reach over 1.7 million people across Ireland, and currently employ 1,345 people.
The winners were announced last night at a ceremony in Mansion House in Dublin.
The nationwide competition, which launched in February of this year, aimed to find big ideas to solve Ireland’s social problems.
Hundreds of applications were received and, following a rigorous selection process, the seven winning entrepreneurs were revealed last night.
The winners include:
- Alice D’Arcy and Grainne Bagnall with STEAM Education – a programme to bring STEM subjects and art into the classroom;
- Colin Healy and James Lyons with Sailing into Wellness – an exhilarating and therapeutic sailing programme for vulnerable or marginalised groups;
- Duncan Walker with The Green Garden Kitchen and Café – which supports people with intellectual disabilities to find meaningful employment;
- Hugh Brennan of O Cualann Cohousing Alliance – an affordable housing solution;
- Niall O’Brien with The Grow Dome Project – turning wastelands into community spaces using geodesic domes;
- Stephanie O’Malley with Education DESTY – an online programme to support children with additional emotional needs;
- Tammy Darcy with The Shona Project – a programme of supports, a survival kit for girls, provided in schools and online for young girls to overcome personal challenges.
Speaking at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards at the Mansion House in Dublin, CEO Darren Ryan said; "We are delighted to announce the 2017 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardees.
"They are ambitious, driven people with innovative solutions to Ireland’s social problems.
"Entrepreneurs are constantly iterating. They find solutions to gaps in services. This is a recognised approach in the commercial sector. We take the same approach to gaps in services in the social sector.
"We look for people with innovative approaches to tackle the issues that are affecting Irish people across the country and we give them the support to scale their impact and effectiveness."
DCC plc - the international sales, marketing, and support services group - is the flagship supporter of the Awards and SEI’s largest and longest-standing corporate partner.
Speaking at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards, CEO of DCC plc, Donal Murphy said: “DCC’s relationship with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has gone from strength to strength over the last seven years and we take great pride in our role as flagship sponsor of the annual Awards Celebration.
"DCC has backed commercially focused entrepreneurship for more than 40 years and we equally believe that the creativity and passion of Irish social entrepreneurs can make a significant contribution to solving our greatest challenges as a society.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in celebrating the achievements of this year’s Awardees and look forward to following their progress in the years to come.”