350,000 Euro in Funding and Support Available for People with the Best Ideas and Projects to Tackle Social Problems

A Geodesic Dome; A Rickshaw Service for the Elderly; A Solution to the Housing Crisis – just some of the ideas that have won funding and support so far. What will the Irish population think of this year?

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS IRELAND has launched a callout for people across the country with ideas to tackle social issues in Ireland to apply for funding and support as the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards, supported by DCC plc, is now open for applications. The deadline for applications is March 20th.

Don’t let a good idea go to waste!’ is the call from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, looking for people with early-stage ideas as well as people who are ready to grow and scale their existing projects. Interested candidates are asked to log on to socialentrepreneurs.ie to apply and find out more about the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland 2018 Awards programme which includes a whole range of support for social entrepreneurs from start-up to scale-up.

Speaking at the launch of this national competition, Darren Ryan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said,

‘People are used to innovation in the commercial sector, but for Ireland to be in a position to tackle the challenges we face as a country, we need to support energetic people with entrepreneurial ideas, to take a different approach to solving social issues. We are uniquely placed as an organisation to be able to back these early-stage ideas with the potential to have an enormous impact on lives across the country. We are excited to see what ideas 2018 will bring.’

Previous winners of funding and support also include FoodCloud, which has to date delivered over 25 million meals to people in need; The Irish Men’s Sheds Association which now has over 400 sheds around the country, working with more than 10,000 men every week; and CoderDojo, which has been a worldwide success.

There will be up to 8 winners in the Awards category, which supports people with existing projects aimed at solving a social problem. The Award is valued at 25,000 euro, with 10,000 euro in direct funding.

Up to 30 people with early-stage ideas will win a place in the Academy for Social Entrepreneurs where they will receive mentoring and support and the opportunity to pitch for seed funding, to spark their idea into action. The organisation also announced that it is launching a new Academy for Social Entrepreneurs in Galway, expanding its range of programmes due to the high quantity of applications received last year when Social Entrepreneurs Ireland first launched the Academy programme.

‘We were inundated with ideas last year’ says Ryan. ‘It goes to show how much appetite there is in Ireland to think creatively and do things differently. That’s where real change happens.’

The entrepreneurs supported by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland are having a very significant effect, impacting the lives of over 1.7 million people in Ireland last year.

DCC plc, the international sales, marketing and support services group, is the flagship supporter of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards.

Speaking at the launch for applications, Donal Murphy, CEO of DCC plc, said:

‘We take great pride in our role as flagship sponsor of the annual Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards. DCC has backed commercially focused entrepreneurship for more than 40 years and we equally believe in the creativity and passion of Irish social entrepreneurs to make a significant contribution to solving our greatest challenges as a society.’

Applications for the Awards programme and the Academy open February 14th, closing at 5pm on March 20th. Interested candidates can apply or find out more at www.socialentrepreneurs.ie.

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