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Who Should Apply?

Check out this overview of who we support and the eligibility criteria for both our Academy and Awards programmes.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for social entrepreneur-led projects that address a societal challenge in a new or better way.

Great! So what does that mean?

We’re looking for social entrepreneur-led projects…

The person applying must be the main driver and lead decision maker. They should act in an entrepreneurial manner and be open to learning and developing themselves through our Programmes. We accept applications from individuals and partnerships.

A societal challenge…

There are a lot of problems and issues to be addressed in Ireland and so we’re looking for social entrepreneurs who can clearly demonstrate why the issue they are addressing is of particular importance. The challenge that their project is addressing can be either social or environmental.

A new or better way…

The people we support don’t simply replicate what is already being provided but instead seek to approach issues from a different angle, improving on what is already being done or introducing a completely new solution altogether. They should be able to clearly articulate what makes their solution unique.

Mission driven, effective…

All of our applicants should be leading projects that are primarily focused on the mission of solving a social or environmental problem.

Desire to scale their impact…

Our social entrepreneurs always think big, ultimately looking to change the way the issue they are addressing is dealt with in Ireland. Having the desire to scale is a vital aspect of our evaluation process.


Please note that applications for the Academy for Social Entrepreneurs and the 2017 Awards programme are now closed.  We will re-open for applications for both programmes on 14th February 2018.


Before filling out the application form please make sure that you fulfil the below criteria:

The Academy 

  •  You are aged 18 years or over at the time of applying for the programme.
  •  You are the person leading on this idea - the main driver and decision maker.
  •  The primary focus of your idea is on benefiting people in Ireland.
  •  You have identified a social or environmental issue and have a new or better idea to solve it.
  •  You are available to commit to full attendance for all Academy events including the Academy Bootcamp and Launch events (both half-day events taking place in May).


  • You are aged 18 years or over at the time of applying for the programme.
  • You are the social entrepreneur leading the project - the main driver and decision maker.
  • The primary focus of your project is on benefiting people in Ireland.
  • You have identified a social or environmental issue and developed a clear business model to solve it.
  • Your solution is new or better than others in existence already in Ireland.
  • Your project has moved beyond the initial idea stage, with activities up and running that relate directly to the problem you are trying to address.
  • You have evidence to illustrate the social mission and impact of your project on your target beneficiaries/audience.
  • You have the ambition to scale and grow the impact of your project beyond its current level.
  • You should be open to the learning and development opportunities provided through our Awards Programme. This involves a time commitment of on average 3 days per month.
  •  You are available to attend mandatory Selection Process events: Social Entrepreneurs Bootcamp on 9th May and Finalist Day on 6th June.
  •  You are willing to develop your project on at least a part-time basis for the duration of the programme.

Note: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is not in a position to support research projects, party-political projects, or projects with an explicit religious or faith-based agenda - as opposed to projects that are driven by a personal belief system but are open to all the community.


Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Lower Ground Floor, 11/12 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 685 3191, Email: info@socialentrepreneurs.ie

Company No: 433846, Registered Charity No: CHY 17524, © SEI 2016

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