€420,000 funding awarded to social innovators

Business, Finance | Wed 14 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards
Pictured are Darren Ryan (SEI), Tommy Breen (DCC plc), Gary Doggett (Pro-Social Drivers Programme), Stephen Plunkett (U-Casadh) and Irene Lowry (Nurture)

Three social entrepreneurs have been awarded funding and support worth €420,000 at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Awards, which took place at the Mansion House last night.

The programme has invested €6.26m and over 1,000 employment opportunities over the last 11 years.

Three recipients were each awarded funding and support worth €140,000 to develop their businesses: Irene Lowry (Nurture), Gary Doggett (Pro-Social Drivers Programme) and Stephen Plunkett (U-Casadh).

Nurture offers counselling and therapy to women, partners and their families experiencing a pregnancy or childbirth related maternal mental health illness.

The Pro-Social Drivers Programme aims to improve the behaviour of higher risk groups of drivers. The programme has successfully used training and rehabilitation to reduce reoffending.

U-Casadh works with people who have come in contact with the criminal justice system, using rehabilitation and training to encourage entrepreneurship and social inclusion.

A further six organisations each received funding and support worth €30,000: Express YOUR Gender, Blossom Ireland, Care Leavers Network, Smartvote, Sugru Therapy and The Mojo Programme.

Tommy Breen, CEO of event sponsor DCC, said: “DCC is proud to be a long term sponsor of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Elevator and Impact programmes. It is a great privilege to play a role in getting behind Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs working to have a positive impact on our society.”

Darren Ryan, CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, added: “Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has established a great track record of working with people that offer pioneering solutions to social problems. The organisations that we have funded and worked with have impacted the lives of 380,000 people on the island of Ireland to date. With the ongoing commitment of DCC plc, we are excited to continue to assist dynamic individuals, including this year’s awardees, who are making a real difference to the lives of people in Ireland every day.”