Social entrepreneurs vie for €40,000 awards programme

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland scheme is a nine-month support programme

Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward, co-founders of foodcloud.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward, co-founders of foodcloud. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Forty social entrepreneurs have pitched for a place in an awards programme that could be worth €40,000 to the successful projects.

The Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Awards programme is a nine-month scheme that provides €20,000 in direct funding, and training and supports worth a further €20,000 to six high-potential social entrepreneurs. They will also have access to mentorship and a strategic adviser.

The programme, which is sponsored by Dublin City Council, has previously seen participants such as FoodCloud, Men’s Sheds Association and A Lust for Life.

This year’s hopefuls pitched their projects to a panel of judges comprising SEI staff and industry experts in Croke Park on Tuesday. Among those seeking a place in the final programme were projects on life-enhancing exercise programmes for older adults and a social app for those living with dyslexia. After a final interview next month, the final 12 projects will compete for the six places on the programme.

“SEI has always believed that Irish communities can provide the solutions to some of our biggest social challenges,” said the programme’s chief executive, Darren Ryan. “Over the last 15 years we’ve seen that proven time and time again. Participants in this year’s awards bootcamp have shown great vision and courage to tackle Ireland’s social problems, with many already making waves.”