Social entrepreneurs invited to enter 2012 awards programme

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has launched its 2012 awards programme, sponsored by DCC plc, with a call for applications from individuals in Mayo and nationwide who are developing new, big, ideas to address the social and environmental challenges we face in Ireland. Last year Sheila Gallagher of Green Sod Land Trust, with has preserved land in Mayo, was named as a finalist for the 2011 awards.

This year, €600,000 in funding and support will be presented to three award winners at the awards in October to help them develop and scale the impact that they are having in Ireland.

The awards will also support a further five individuals to the value of €35,000 each under the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Elevator Programme.

The call for applications is the start of an extensive eight month consultation and engagement process which will culminate in the announcement of the award winners in the autumn. The closing date for applications is Thursday, February 16. The selection process will include a ‘Bootcamp’ in March where shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch their projects, leading to interviews from which eight finalists will be chosen. The finalists will then take part in a three month finalists’ programme where they will receive some funding and support prior to final selection of the 2012 award winners in October.

Seán Coughlan, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland chief executive, said: “The main criteria is a passion for making a difference, thinking big and using business skills for social change. We really believe that together we can change Ireland and the impact of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland over the past seven years has proved that.”

Tommy Breen, chief executive officer, DCC, added: “I would encourage people to apply for these awards which provide tangible benefits for those with a vision on how they can bring about social change.”

Applications for the 2012 Awards Programme must be made online at www.socialentrepreneurs.ie, where full details on the application process, eligibility criteria and the awards programme are available.

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