Diageo Ireland has announced that the first group of Arthur Guinness Fund awardees have graduated from the two-year business mentoring programme. Among the 10 graduates was Clár IRD for their organic garden project, Growing Locally, in Mayfield, Claremorris. This project was the only one west of the Shannon to receive one of the 10 awards in 2010.
The graduates began their journey in 2010 when they became the first group of social entrepreneurs to receive financial and business support from the fund. They had very clear objectives in 2010 which they have all reached or surpassed and in doing so have made huge and lasting impacts on their communities.
Growing Locally, which is spearheaded by Alma Gallagher, was a winner of Diageo’s Arthur Guinness Fund in 2010 and has received €100,000 along with business mentoring in order to develop the project further. Since joining the Arthur Guinness Fund programme, Growing Locally has developed a site just outside Claremorris into a site suitable for horticulture programmes with water, electricity and all essential services including two growing tunnels. They have delivered a year-long horticulture programme to 13 participants from the South West Mayo Area from September 2010 – February 2012. Participants received a certification in HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point ), business development and the principles of horticulture, and sold products directly to consumers through box schemes and on site.
The Arthur Guinness Fund was created in 2009 as part of the Guinness 250th anniversary and continues the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness. Through the fund, Arthur’s Day supports social entrepreneurs in Ireland who are in the business of changing communities for the better.