Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) has launched its 2013 Awards programme, sponsored by DCC plc, inviting applications from Meath's brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs with game changing ideas to solve the social problems facing Ireland. In 2012 SEI received five applications from Meath entrepreneurs and hopes are that 2013 will see an increase in applications for funding from the county.
Summerhill based charity 'Third Age Foundation' successfully applied for funding in 2008. Meath native Mary Nally submitted an application to Social Entrepreneurs Ireland in an effort to garner support for the charity's 'Fáilte Isteach' initiative aimed at providing conversational English classes for new migrants to Ireland. Through the funding and support she has received from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland 'Fáilte Isteach' has spread to over 40 locations nationwide tutoring in excess of 1,200 migrants from 55 different countries.
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland are providing €500,000 in funding to eight social entrepreneurs as well as a further €250,000 in professional consultation and support ensuring they are equipped to scale and grow their businesses in order to impact as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
Three Social Entrepreneurs will be awarded the top level Impact Award and €130,000 in direct funding with over €70,000 worth of support over two years. A further five will receive the Elevator Award and €22,000 in direct funding with over €10,000 worth of support over one year.
The call for applications announced today marks the start of an intensive eight month consultation and engagement process to boost and encourage positive change in Ireland. The closing date for applications is February 18th. The selection process will include a "Bootcamp" in March where shortlisted candidates will pitch their ideas to change Ireland leading to interviews from which eight finalists will be chosen. The finalists will then embark on a three month finalist programme receiving partial funding upfront and ongoing professional consultation before the announcement of the 2013 Award Winners in October.
Over the last seven years SEI has supported 161 social entrepreneurs, investing €4.9 million in their projects, and provided significant additional supports. These in turn have directly impacted over 200,000 people across Ireland and created over 800 employment opportunities in the process.
Applications for the 2013 Awards Programme must be made online at www.socialentrepreneurs.ie where full details on the application process, eligibility criteria and Awards Programmes can be found.