Do you have an innovative idea to solve a social
problem? Are you ambitious, entrepreneurial,
and passionate about social change? This four-day
programme, over the course of four months, will provide
you with the support and direction you need to help you
to kick-start your idea and take the next steps.

The Academy in 2020 will take place in Cork, Dublin, and Galway. Together with a small group of fellow innovators, you will receive:

Training & Support

Targeted training and support will accelerate your knowledge and build your skills in the key foundational areas of leading a social business, such as solution design, governance, storytelling, and leadership.

A Powerful Community

As members of Ireland’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, you will have connection to and mentorship from a large number of extremely experienced social entrepreneurs currently driving social change across the country, along with Ireland’s leading business experts.
“We needed support and we needed direction. The
Academy helped us with both and crystallised our idea.”

Tanya McGarry


Academy Participant 2017
Be it a visit to a new restaurant, cinema or hair salon, any new experience can cause a huge amount of anxiety for some people, particularly those with additional needs. Not knowing what to expect, or what is expected of you, when accessing an ordinary community service can cause such anxiety that it leads to social isolation and unnecessary stress on both the individual and those who support them.

With her extensive experience in the disability sector, and personal experience of this issue, Caitriona’s idea was to help people to ‘visit and experience’ a place before actually going there, through visual storyboards and sequential video modelling. She knew that preparation in this way could be the difference between community inclusion or isolation.

Since participating in The Academy, Caitriona is rolling out the first pilot of PrepareMe, with funding won through The Academy and KBC Bright Ideas. She hopes, through this pilot, to make Athenry the first Additional Needs-Friendly town in Ireland, providing people with the confidence they need to take up all of life’s experiences, no matter their needs.

“The Academy has been life changing for me. I have achieved things that I never considered I might be able to do. The team in SEI have been exceptional beyond belief.”

Caitriona Watters-Crehan, PrepareMe

Please see below The Academy Programme Applicant Guide to ensure you fully understand how the selection process works, the eligibility criteria and what to expect from the programme. An updated version will be uploaded early next year.
Download 2020 Applicant Guide
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