€600,000 in support on offer to Offaly social enterprises

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Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has launched their nationwide search for people with innovative ideas and new solutions to solve some of Ireland’s biggest social and environmental problems.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has launched their nationwide search for people with innovative ideas and new solutions to solve some of Ireland’s biggest social and environmental problems.

The 2015 Awards programme, sponsored by DCC plc, invites applications from Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs with game changing ideas to solve the social problems facing Ireland.

The annual competition, now in its eleventh year, has backed 179 social entrepreneurs to date and invested €5.82 million in direct funding to projects in areas ranging from community and active citizenship, education and learning, environment and sustainability and mental and physical health. In the last 12 months, social entrepreneurs supported by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland have directly impacted 44,959 people. Present at this year’s launch were Liz Waters from The Virtual Community College, Aoibhean O’Brien from FoodCloud and Jennifer Ryan from My Life Solutions, who were all 2014 award winners.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is the country’s largest and most active funder of social entrepreneurship and is this year providing €420,000 in direct funding to nine social entrepreneurs. A further €180,000 worth of support will also be made available to successful applicants, ensuring that they are equipped to scale and grow their organisations in order to impact as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Speaking at the official launch Darren Ryan, Chief Executive of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said: “While Ireland’s economic recovery might be gaining speed, we’re still in danger of leaving large portions of our population behind. Whether it’s long-term unemployment, homelessness or poverty, social entrepreneurs offer great new solutions to ensure that we can deliver an inclusive recovery, and this Awards Programme provides them with the vital support they need to succeed.”

Irish headquartered international company DCC plc, who have sponsored the awards ceremony for the last five years, are continuing with this sponsorship again this year. CEO of DCC Tommy Breen said: “We in DCC are delighted to be supporting the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards again in 2015. It is a great privilege to play a role in supporting Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs working to have a positive impact on our society.”

The closing date for entries to their 2015 Awards competition is 11:59pm on Monday, 20th April. Following a multi-stage review process, the winning nominees will be announced at a ceremony in November 2015. For an application form and more information about the roadshows please visit www.socialentrepreneurs.ie