Project to empower asylum seekers wins DCU social entrepreneurship award

Students showcase a range of innovations at Enactus Ireland national event

DCU students who were named Enactus Ireland national competition winners on Thursday night. Pictured are Liam Redmond of Enactus Ireland; students Robert Kelly, Thomas Hand, Daniel Kyne, Ashling McGovern, Josh Clinton; and Terence O’Rourke, chairman of Enactus Ireland and activist Sinead Burke. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

DCU students who were named Enactus Ireland national competition winners on Thursday night. Pictured are Liam Redmond of Enactus Ireland; students Robert Kelly, Thomas Hand, Daniel Kyne, Ashling McGovern, Josh Clinton; and Terence O’Rourke, chairman of Enactus Ireland and activist Sinead Burke. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

 

A project which is helping asylum seekers to overcome barriers to employment by teaching them sales and event organising skills has helped land students at Dublin City University with a national award for social innovation.

The university was named the winner of the Enactus Ireland national competition, a charitable organisation which promotes social projects which make a positive change in the community.

Among the projects established by DCU students over the past year include Second Scoop, a pop-up ice cream vendor which targets corporate and social events.

This involved training and mentoring asylum seekers in the business and giving them the tools to develop new livelihoods.

In another project, Threads, students set up a clothing company that helps provide asylum seekers with the skills and opportunities to upcycle old and unwanted jeans.

The projects were aimed at helping some of the 4,000-plus asylum seekers - who may spend years in the direct provision system - overcome barriers to employment.

The students will go forward to represent Ireland at the Enactus world cup in California later this year.

Runner-up teams included those from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick.

This competition saw students, business leaders, academics and alumni come together for a showcase and celebration of the positive and innovative projects created by students at third level.

Enactus Chairman Terence O’Rourke, “The energy from the students is contagious and this year again we have seen a truly amazing range of projects and initiatives creating real community impacts. ”

Enactus Ireland is one of more than 30 country organisations around the world that is bringing students, academics and business leaders together to in the area of social entrepreneurship

Under the guidance of academic advisors and business experts, the students seek to create and implement community empowerment projects.