SOCIAL Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) is making €50,000 seed funding available through its Ideas Academy to individuals who have an early-stage innovative idea to solve a particular social problem. A further €100,000 will be awarded to high potential social entrepreneurs through its Impact Programme.
The funding is part of a suite of supports on offer through these programmes, both of which are currently accepting applications. Participants on the Ideas Academy will have the opportunity to pitch for a portion of the €50,000 seed fund to pilot their idea. Awardees on the Impact Programme will receive €20,000 in direct funding each to grow their impact in addition to bespoke non-financial support.
SEI, which is dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs in Ireland, is encouraging people from Cork to “see the challenge, be the change,” by applying to the Ideas Academy – aimed at those with an early-stage idea to solve a social problem, or the Impact Programme – aimed at high-potential social entrepreneurs looking to grow their impact.
The closing date for applications is Wednesday, April 7. Some of SEI’s alumni based in Munster include Change By Degrees, Alex’s Adventure and Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR).
Commenting, SEI Interim Director of Impact, Siobhán O’Keeffe said: “All across Ireland there are people with ideas to solve social problems – in some cases, these are people who have direct experience of a problem – and the courage and insight to put forward a solution, and act on it.
"Often it is through real challenge that innovation is inspired, and we are anticipating seeing that in this year’s applications in response to the global pandemic. We’re calling on people from all backgrounds who need support to realise their vision to apply to SEI.
"We know that the first step of the journey is often the hardest one to take. We are here to help, and we hope that the supports we have available on both of our programmes, along with the availability of €50,000 in seed funding on the Ideas Academy and €20,000 in unrestricted funding for each of our five Impact Programme Awardees will further support our social entrepreneurs to pilot their ideas and grow their impact.”
Up to 60 places are available on SEI’s Ideas Academy. The three-month programme will provide budding social entrepreneurs with the support and direction they need as they take the first steps from idea to action.
In addition to having the opportunity to pitch for seed funding, participants on the Ideas Academy will be supported to clearly articulate, refine and progress their solution, to build skills and accelerate learning in core areas of importance to social entrepreneurs, and to move from idea to action. In response to current public health restrictions, the 2021 programme will be delivered online.
Up to five places are available on SEI’s prestigious Impact Programme, aimed at high-potential social entrepreneurs. In addition to€ 20,000 in unrestricted funding to grow their impact, Awardees will receive mentorship, training, and consultancy in areas such as leadership development, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, and communications.
They will also have access to pro-bono support from partner organisations throughout the nine-month programme. The Impact Programme will be delivered primarily online in 2021-22, with in-person elements included when, and if, it safe to do so.
Applications for the Ideas Academy and Impact Programme are open until midnight on Wednesday, April 7. Interested candidates can apply or find out more at www.socialentrepreneurs.ie.