Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Chief Executive Seán Coughlan submitted a Letter to the Editor for yesterday’s 2023 edition of the Irish Times. See below for an insight into what Seán expects to be talking about in ten years time!
As I am sure your readers will have noticed we are now surrounded by a well-rounded, well-educated, entrepreneurial generation of Irish young people who actively give back to society, and quite frankly, it’s just not good enough!
With all the positive things that have happened over the last ten years, if the older generation cannot complain about the youth of today then what, I ask you, is left for us to complain about. Personally, I lay the blame for this sorry state of affairs on those people 10 years ago who, in times of economic crisis, took this nation’s entrepreneurial talent and used it to develop solutions that were not about making money but about making a difference. These so-called ‘social entrepreneurs’ apparently went on to address many of the entrenched social and environmental challenges Ireland faced and, in so doing, inspired a whole generation.
If this keeps up it will only be that perennial Irish favourite, the weather, that will keep us malcontents going!
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland
Every year when we prepare for the launch of our Awards Programme, the team here at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland do our best to anticipate the multitude of queries that any one of our potential applicants might have. These hypothetical queries are then answered, by us, in our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section on our website. In truth however, some FAQs are more frequent than others!
So in an effort to pre-empt some of this confusion, I have compiled my top three awards queries to date. This way we can address these issues once and for all….or hopefully at least until tomorrow.
1. Do I have to work full time on my project?
You do not currently have to be working full time on your project in order to apply to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Programme. What we do ask however is that if you are successful in making it through our selection process, and then onto our Impact Programme, we would expect you to work full time on your project from that point on.
2. Can I apply for funding or be in receipt of funding from other sources?
Yes and yes! With our long track record in the sector we understand how fundraising can be a constant battle, particularly in the early stages of an organisation.
3. I have a great idea but haven’t tested it yet, am I eligible to apply?
Our motto at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is simple. Think Big, Act Now, Change Ireland. That means that we want entrepreneurs who are not limiting the potential of their projects by thinking small, as well as entrepreneurs who have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work. We expect our applicants to have moved beyond the ideas stage, and to be able to show some tangible results from the work they have put in. Some projects may be further along than others, but we expect all applicants to have taken the initiative to get up, get out, and get working.
Here’s hoping that this has clarified things for some of you. Ultimately the decision to apply or not to apply is yours to make. What I can say is that this is by far the most exciting time of the year for the team at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland! There is nothing more enthusing than reading about all the fantastic work being done around the country in the name of social entrepreneurship.
While we may not be in a position to support all of the applicants financially, we can at least offer our full moral support and best wishes as you continue to change Ireland for the better.
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