Nationwide Search For New Ideas To Tackle Social Problems

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS from across the country gathered in the RDS in Dublin on Tuesday, May 14th, to pitch for a place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Programme. The annual Awards are supported by DCC plc, the international sales, marketing and support services group.

Social Entrepreneurs such as Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien of FoodCloud, John Evoy of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association and Michael Kelly from GIY (Grow It Yourself) came through this process in previous years and have gone on to have great success with their organisations.

“We’re really hopeful about the potential of the social entrepreneurs pitching today,” says Darren Ryan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, speaking at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Bootcamp. “Over the past 13 years we have worked closely to support high potential social entrepreneurs from start-up to scale-up and we have seen how transformative these supports are for social entrepreneurs. We want to give the right supports to the right social entrepreneur, with the right idea, at the right time. The social entrepreneurs we welcome on to our programmes will become part of a community that is having an incredible impact across the country, tackling some of Ireland’s most pressing issues.”

‘Don’t let a good idea go to waste’ was the call from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) in February this year, looking for people with ideas and projects to solve social problems in Ireland. Following the call out applications came flooding in from across the country, with hopefuls looking to secure a place on SEI’s programmes which provide funding, support and mentorship to social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to solve social problems.

The top 45 entrepreneurs pitching at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Bootcamp have been selected through a rigorous review process with over 250 reviewers from across Irish society assessing their applications. Over the course of the day each entrepreneur gives a presentation to a panel of judges, explaining their idea and their ambition to scale and why they believe they should be awarded a place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards programme. The adjudication panels are made up of the SEI team and external judges, including some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders – Alison Cowzer, Eamonn Quinn, and Norah Casey.

Of the 45 projects pitching only 16 will go through to the final stages of the selection process in June, to be in with a chance of winning a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award.

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

Speaking at the launch of 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.’

About Social Entrepreneurs Ireland:
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) is an Irish not-for-profit organisation that supports people with new solutions to Ireland’s biggest social problems. SEI helps these individuals to increase their impact by providing significant funding alongside in-depth technical and practical support. Over the last 13 years, SEI has supported 211 social entrepreneurs, and this year’s funding will bring the total support to approximately 7 million euro, in addition to providing significant additional support. These projects have in turn directly impacted 1.7 million people all over Ireland last year, and have created over 1,345 employment opportunities. For more information please see www.socialentrepreneurs.ie

About the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards:
Up to eight award winners, each with an innovative new approach to solving a social problem in Ireland, will join Ireland’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. As well as an immediate €10,000 in unrestricted funding, they will receive a place on an accelerator programme worth €15,000, with access to over 150 pro-bono supporters, coaches and mentors.

About DCC plc:

DCC plc is a leading international sales, marketing and support services group with a clear focus on performance and growth. It operates through four divisions: LPG, Retail & Oil, Healthcare and Technology. Headquartered in Dublin, the group operates in 15 countries and employs approximately 10,000 people.  DCC plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. In its financial year ended 31 March 2017, DCC generated revenue of £12.3 billion and operating profit of £345 million.  For more information please see www.dcc.ie

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