Social Entrepeneurs

So this was the task we were set in our Innovation class in the IMI by Dr. Peter Robbins on the 14th of November 2013- publish a blog on social entrepeneurship. I don’t read blogs-I don’t write blogs- so I sure as hell don’t know how to recognise a good blog! So for my first attempt I am tackling the subject of social entrepeneurship as requested for “homework”. So what’s the first thing to do? Google “Social Entrepeneurs” of course! Well there are a hell of a lot of them out there all over the world dealing with all sorts of worthy causes but my attention was drawn by the “Social Entrepeneurs Ireland” website http://socialentrepreneurs.ie/. Global is great but it is heartening to see that we are looking after our own and trying to make a difference at home. It is a registered charity and people can donate to help out however it would appear that a lot of big business most especially Diageo (in the form of the Arthur Guiness Fund) provide funding also. Social entrepeneurs with a good idea can apply for funding to help them develop their idea. They have been on the go since 2004 and have provided €4.9m in funding which is not to be sneezed at. The Impact Awards in 2012 had a prize fund of €200,00 and the winners Soar, James Whelton and Coder Dojo and Aviva Cohen of Neuro Hero have used the money to go back into their “businesses” to help more people. In 2013 there were 8 finalists which had brought about innovation in areas such as healthcare, local emergency services, unemployment, charity fundraising, the children’s care system and the prison and probaton system. All of these areas have suffered badly in the recent recessionary times and the fact that people are able to come up with innovative ideas to help in these areas of society is great to see. Of course people did moan about the Arthur Guinness Projects partnering with Social Entrepeneurs Ireland to invest €3m in up to 20 projects annually. Great marketing having the likes of Chris O’Dowd and The Script involved in choosing the projects! But Guinness is the most Irish of brands and at least it is trying to put something back into the country in an innovative way. I don’t see anybody from Jameson rushing in to help out with trying to shorten the dole queues! SEI has created 800 jobs! And the good news is that they write a blog on their website- so maybe check it out to see what they are doing. The SEI are right to partner with any company who are willing to help people who want to help other people in our own country.