Thursday 18 January 2018

The Punt: €600k funding for SEI awards

London Mayor Boris Johnson. Photo: Reuters
London Mayor Boris Johnson. Photo: Reuters Newsdesk Newsdesk

More than half a million quid in funding is up for grabs as part of the 2016 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) awards programme, which launches today.

SEI is looking for applications from "ambitious individuals with big ideas and the energy to address social problems on the island of Ireland".

The awards programme, which is backed by the conglomerate DCC, will provide €600,000 in development funding and support to nine "social entrepreneurs". SEI says this round of funding will bring the total funding provided by it to over €6.5m.

Previous recipients have tackled a wide range of social issues, from adult education and the provision of emergency services in rural areas to voter engagement and food waste. Former winners include CoderDojo, FoodCloud, Pieta House and Smartvote.

SEI chief executive Darren Ryan commented: "Just as entrepreneurs can drive change in business, social entrepreneurs can bring about real change in society. This year, we are calling on people all around Ireland to consider if their Big Idea has the potential to change Ireland. If so, we want to hear from them."

DCC CEO Tommy Breen said he "strongly believes" in the work carried out by SEI.

A series of roadshow events will also be taking place across the country as part of the awards programme.

Could business be for a Brexit?

Sometimes, having no government of sorts isn't a bad thing.

Here, we had to endure three weeks of electioneering and now weeks of negotiations between parties either desperately trying to hold on to power or trying to attain it.

In the UK, though, it's much worse - they have to endure three months of rows and disputes and fights ahead of the upcoming referendum on whether Britain should "remain or leave" in the EU.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is effectively leading the "leave" campaign and yesterday he was accusing the "remain" side of having engineered the suspension of John Longworth, the head of business lobby group the British Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Longworth's suspension got The Punt thinking about how something like that would play out in Ireland.

Would a body like IBEC suspend its chief executive for making comments around a referendum or election?

We doubt it, and we hope not.

Sometimes a lobbyist has to, y'know, lobby.

Building firms get night out

A host of construction-related businesses got out their best bib and tucker for the inaugural Machinery Movers Magazine Industry Awards, sponsored by AIB Finance & Leasing, at the Mount Wolseley Hotel in Co Carlow.

Winners of the company awards included Shannon Valley for demolition company of the year; Creagh Concrete for quarry company of the year; Atlantic Plant Hire won contract crusher of the year; Whelan Plant Sales won attachment dealer of the year; Shannon Valley won the gong for special construction project; while Vincent Dempsey Plant Hire won plant hire company of the year.

Swan Plant Hire won Irish rental firm 2016. Pat O'Donnell from Pat O Donnell & Co was handed the lifetime achievement award.

Awards were also presented to operators in the construction and quarry industry.

Winners of the operator awards included Paddy Patton for large excavator operator of the year; Gary Ryan won rockbreaker operator of the year; Vincent Troy was named mini excavator operator of the year, while Hugh Ryan won bulldozer operator of the year.

Martin McGuire won tipper truck operator of the year and Oliver Rigney took home the gong for wheeled excavator operator of the year.

Irish Independent

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