Our application process closed April 7th and we are now in the midst of our review. This is our favourite time of the year as it allows us to see and learn about what is happening all over Ireland, and get an insight into grassroots efforts being made in various fields to tackle some of Ireland’s most entrenched social and environmental issues. As our applicants await the results of our review, we wanted to share with you all some interesting insights from this year’s applications.
1. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise all over Ireland
While Dublin still leads in number of applications received, this year we’ve seen a significant increase in applications coming from Cork and Galway. Both have gone up by nearly 3% since last year, from 7.1% of all applications to 10%. Interestingly, for the second year in a row we are also seeing a tie between Cork and Galway for the second highest number of applications outside of Dublin. Waterford and Wicklow hold spot number three, each accounting for 6% of this year’s applications.
2. Social start-ups and the economy
This year, even more so than last, we get a clearer sense of the influence that social start-ups have on our economy. This year’s applicants are currently employing 200 full-time and 228 part-time employees, and their average annual turnover was circa €325,000 for Impact applicants, and €51,000 for Elevator. This demonstrates to us that these social start-ups are not only doing great work in their respective communities, but are also adding significant value to their local economies.
3. Volunteers are a precious and important driving force
While social start-ups have an immense influence on our communities and economy, they often have to rely on one of their most valuable assets – volunteers! Once again, volunteers are shown to be an important force for good with the average Impact applicant utilising the help of about 50 volunteers, and an average Elevator applicant about 19 volunteers at any given time.
4. How old are they?
You might find it interesting to know that the average age of the organisations applying for an Impact Award is 6 years, with Elevator organisations about 2 years old. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some older “teenagers” amongst them, with the oldest applicant organisation having been established in 1989!
5. Why do today what you can do tomorrow?
During the applications process we closely monitor the daily numbers of applications started and submitted. We are always interested to look at the peak day and see how it relates to the deadline. This year our peak day for applications started was April 6th – the day before the deadline, with 40 applications started, which is a record to date. Our submissions peak of 110 applications submitted was on April 7th, THE deadline! This means that 65% of all applications were submitted on the deadline. Why do today what you can put off until last minute?
6. How did they hear about the Awards?
These statistics tell us how our applicants heard about the application process:
Word of Mouth (including past Awardees) – 42%
Online – 25%
SEI Event/ Outdoor Campaign – 10%
Media Coverage – 7%
Judging by the numbers, it is safe to conclude that our applicants have amazing networks as the majority of them have heard about our applications by word of mouth or from a past Award winner. Our Social Entrepreneurs Ireland website also seems to have been a great source of information along with other social media platforms. Additionally, thanks to the amazing support from Dublin Airport Authority and Exterion Media, this year we’ve had an outstanding outdoor campaign aimed at promoting our applications process. Because of their excellent work, some of this year’s applicants found out about our Awards programme from a billboard or saw an ad on the back of a bus. How cool is that?!
The numbers above represent some interesting trends that are worth noting, but they don’t capture the importance, excitement and true impact of the work that these social entrepreneurs do. We are all very excited and truly look forward to learning more about what they do during our review, and meeting some of these amazing individuals at Social Entrepreneurs Bootcamp on May 24th.
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