“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something”
This week we announce which 18 applicants have made it through to the interview stage of our selection process, an incredibly exciting time for both them and us. The flip-side to this of course is that we will be informing another 22 applicants that they have not made it through. Add that to the 164 applicants who didn’t make it to Social Entrepreneurs Bootcamp and you can begin to see how unbelievably competitive this whole process is.
While our application process helps to give us a snapshot of what is being done across the island of Ireland to solve the myriad of societal and environmental problems facing us today, Bootcamp helps to bring those snapshots to life (for photos click here). Bringing together 40 of the most enthusiastic and innovative entrepreneurs creates an atmosphere like no other, an atmosphere that turns words on a piece of paper into something much more emotive, much more real.
A goal of ours at Social Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is to give more to our applicants than we ask of them through their pitch. We try to offer them constructive advice and useful tips through workshops and talks from some really impressive individuals who know what it’s like to operate in the social enterprise space.
However if we’re honest, we fall short of this goal every time. Not because the insights and expertise of our speakers is inadequate (nothing could be further from the truth) but because no matter what we offer our applicants we always get far more from this day than they do. We come away inspired and excited about the possibility of working with them. It reminds us why we do what we do, and the potential these individuals have to change Ireland for the better.
Abraham Lincoln once wrote – “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. That’s exactly what these entrepreneurs are doing. They are remoulding our communities, our towns and our cities, showing their fellow citizens what is possible when we take control of our own destiny. They avoid what is easy and focus on what is right. They have given up their seats on the sidelines and have joined the game, levelling the playing field in the process.
The work that these entrepreneurs undertake is pivotal in securing the future for Ireland and the more work being done the better. This selection process might be tough, and the odds for our applicants daunting, but that can only mean one thing, the future is bright.
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