Jump to content


I’m interested in applying for the Awards Programme, how do I apply?

All applications must be submitted online using our online application form. During each applications cycle all relevant information is provided in the Awards section on our website.

What is the closing date for applications?

2017 Awards and The Academy applications were closed on March 29th. Applications will re-open in 2018.

Can I submit a paper version of the application form, or e-mail you a copy of my form?

No. All applications must be submitted directly online using the online application form.

What happens when I submit an application?

Once all the applications have been submitted, a review process will take place. For a full breakdown of the review process and associated timelines for each programme, please click here.

How do I know which Award programme to apply to?

Before you begin the application process, you can answer a series of questions which will determine the Programme that your project is suitable for. You will then be directed to the appropriate application form.

What happens when I submit an application?

Once all the applications have been submitted, a thorough review process will take place. For a full breakdown of the review process and associated timelines, click here.

What will happen if I forgot to include something in my application form?

All required questions in the application form are marked with an asterisk*. Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to amend it. Please be sure to review your work carefully before you submit it.

Must I meet all of the eligibility criteria to be eligible for an award?

Yes, you must meet all of the eligibility criteria associated with the Award you are applying for.

How long will it take to fill in the Awards application form?

While everyone will be different, in general we advise that it takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete the application form, depending on the level of detail being provided. Trying to do all of this in one sitting is tough though, so we advise completing the application form in sections, making use of all the time available to complete the form.

Can I meet with somebody in SEI to discuss my application?

For obvious reasons we unfortunately can’t help people when it comes to filling in their applications – although we’re happy to clarify anything about the process if it’s unclear. What we would recommend however, if you are looking for feedback on your individual application, is to share it with some friends, colleagues and board members, to get their insights into the quality of your answers.

I’ve already started my application form, how do I log back in to edit it?

During the applications period you’ll find a page on the SEI website called ‘Apply Now’ – under our Awards section. From there you can click through to login to edit your application.

Are the Elevator and Impact Awards still available to apply to?

No. The Awards Programme has replaced both the Elevator and the Impact Awards. The Awards Programme is available to Social Entrepreneurs at various stages of development, from those in the early stages of their projects to those who are more established and are looking to scale their impact.

How many social entrepreneurs will become Awardees in 2017?

Up to 8 social entrepreneurs will be selected as Awardees.

How many applicants will be selected to participate in The Academy in 2017?

15 applicants will be selected.

What do I get if my Awards application is successful?

All Awardees will receive direct unrestricted funding of €10,000 and a support programme from SEI worth in excess of €15,000. Awardees of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland are also entitled to receive a series of pro-bono supports from several partner organisations, ensuring that each of our social entrepreneurs receive the best professional services available at no cost to them or their organisations. Awardees are also provided with access to numerous free/low-cost training courses and workshops to help develop both themselves and their organisations further.

Do I have to be the originator of the idea or have been directly involved since the beginning of the project to apply to the Awards?

No, you don’t necessarily have to be the originator of the idea, but you should currently be the main driver and decision maker of the project with the skills to drive it forward. You should be passionate about the work you do and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

What do you mean by ‘Ireland’?

The term ‘Ireland’ refers to both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Projects based in Northern Ireland must be able to replicate their model and/or extend their impact to the Republic of Ireland.

My idea is for a project outside Ireland, am I eligible?

No. If your project activities only take place outside Ireland and the communities benefiting from your activities are outside Ireland then you are not eligible to apply.

My project has activities both in Ireland and abroad, am I eligible?

If a significant proportion of the work you do takes place in Ireland and if you can clearly demonstrate the societal benefit which these activities bring to the communities you work with in Ireland, then you may be eligible to apply, provided you meet the rest of the application criteria.

I am not living in Ireland, can I apply?

No. The Awards Programme is only open to social entrepreneurs living in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Why must an idea or project you support be ‘new or better’?

Ireland still suffers from a number of entrenched social problems. At Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we believe new and improved thinking is needed. However, these types of ideas often struggle to garner support, particularly in the early stages of their development. Therefore, we support projects that tackle these issues from a different angle, improving on what is already being done or introducing a completely new solution altogether.

If I am selected, how much time must I commit to the Awards Programme?

The Awards Programme is tailored to meet the needs of the individual social entrepreneur, with the programme structure agreed at the beginning of the Award. The time commitment for each Awardee will be slightly different, but on average 3 days per month. During the most intensive period of the Award (September-December) it could increase to 5 days per month. It’s important to note that the Programme will require significant input from the Awardee.

If I am selected, how much time must I commit to The Academy?

Over the course of the 5 month programme, there will be 5 days of trainings and events, with core programme elements to take place on 30th May, 29th June, 4th September (subject to slight change). In addition, participants will be expected to take part in several learning group sessions with their fellow participants.

If I am selected to receive an Award, why must I commit to participating in the Awards Programmes?

The support structure is at the heart of the Award. It comprises both funding and a tailored support programme designed to help social entrepreneurs to maximise their impact and accelerate their development. Awardees must commit to participating fully in the programme to gain the benefits it offers.

What sectors or project areas do you support?

We are not limited to any specific sector or area to support, and are open to supporting projects in any sector, once the potential for societal change can be demonstrated. In the past we have supported projects in a wide range of areas

including education and learning, children and young people, older people, mental health, people with disabilities, the environment, community development and new communities.

At what stage of development should my project be to be eligible to apply to the Awards Programme?

The Awards Programme caters to social entrepreneur-led projects at various stages of development, from early stage to growth. Your project must have moved beyond the idea/conceptual stage, with activities up and running that relate directly to the problem you are trying to address. We are looking for projects with the desire and potential to scale beyond their current reach and impact.

My project is up and running – which SEI programme is for me?

If you have started to run activities and meet the remaining criteria for the Awards Programme, then it is for you. If you are in the very early stages and do not meet all criteria for the Awards Programme, The Academy may be more appropriate for your stage of development.

How can the Award be spent?

The financial support provided by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is unrestricted. While there are some broad constraints to how the unrestricted funding is spent (for example we will not fund illegal activities) we consider the Awardee to be the person best suited to decide how their project can benefit from the financial support. The unrestricted funding may be used, for example, to fund the salary of the social entrepreneur or specific initiatives. Personal expenses incurred while working on the project may also be covered by the unrestricted funding.

What are the reporting requirements for Awardees?

Awardees are required to submit reports throughout the period of their Award, along with a summary report at the end of the Award period. This report outlines progress made and actions completed against the Awardee’s project plan, along with a financial breakdown of the donation monies.

What types of organisations do you support (charities, social enterprises, for-profits) on your Awards Programme?

We support social enterprises and charitable organisations, of any governance structure (e.g. limited by guarantee, limited by shares etc.) Through our Awards Programme we also support early-stage organisations that have yet to decide which legal structure is most advantageous to their social mission. While we support organisations structured as both ‘not for profit’ and ‘for profit’, we only support social entrepreneur-led organisations that can convince us that their social mission is at the core of what they do, regardless of their legal structure.

How do I know if I am a social enterprise?

The Government commissioned Forfás report defines social enterprise as “an enterprise that trades for a social/societal purpose, where at least part of its income is earned from its trading activity, is separate from government, and where the surplus is primarily reinvested in the social objective”. From SEI’s perspective you can be considered a social enterprise if most, if not all, of your income is planned to be generated from trading activities and where most, if not all, of any profits you make are reinvested back into the social mission.

Can I apply to other funds and the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Programme?

Yes, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland realises how tough it can be to raise the necessary funds for a project, particularly in the early stages of development. As a result, we have no issue with applications being made to other funding opportunities that may arise.

I have previously applied for an Award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, can I re-apply?

Yes. However, we would only recommend reapplying if your project or idea has made significant progress since you last applied for an Award.

Can I apply to the Academy and the Awards programme?

No. You can only apply to the programme that is most relevant to your project’s stage of development. Click here for more information on the eligibility criteria for each programme.

I am a past recipient of support from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland – can I apply to the Awards Programme?

You cannot apply to the Awards Programme with the same project that you received an Award for previously. You can however apply to the Awards Programme with an entirely new and separate project/organisation. If you instead wish to take the project you received an Award for to the next level, and are interested in becoming an Impact Partner, you can express your interest to us from May 2017.

I have submitted my Awards application. When will I know whether I have been successful?

We will let you know whether you have been successful in reaching the second stage of our application process by mid-May 2017. The complete timeline for the awards process is available here.

I have submitted my Academy application. When will I know whether I have been successful?

We will let you know whether you have been successful by early May 2017.

If my application is successful, when will the Awards Programme begin?

The programme will begin in July 2017.

If my application is successful, when will The Academy begin?

The programme will begin in May 2017, and run until September 2017.

How is Social Entrepreneurs Ireland funded?

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is funded by a range of private foundations, corporate partners and individuals. For more information, please visit our Partners page.

apply now 353px

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

Design New Graphic