A new €1.6m fund provided by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Government will provide crucial funding for 39 initiatives that are aiming to put STEM at the forefront of Ireland’s future generations.
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Patrick Shannon, Andy Kinsella, Padraig Humby (Diageo), George Crine, John Evoy (Irish Men's Shed Association), Frank Dunlop, Dave Doche, Mick Meyler and Joe Ryan with the boat built in the Arklow Men's Community Shed
Guinness & Co is inviting applications from social enterprises in Ireland to vie for a chance to obtain between €50,000 and €100,000 each in the upcoming Arthur Guinness Fund to help move their ventures forward.
An extra €500,000 of funding and support has been added to the next fund. The Arthur Guinness Fund re-opened for applications yesterday, Tuesday, 1 November.
To date, €1.65m has been awarded to a range of social entrepreneurial initiatives that are committed to making a positive and sustainable impact on communities all over Ireland. Successful projects in the current process will be eligible to receive between €50,000 and €100,000 each.
Since establishing the Arthur Guinness Fund in 2009, €7.4m has been invested in the fund. This figure includes the €2.5m allocated to the Arthur Guinness Fund in Ireland.
Guinness has also invested in projects in Africa, Indonesia, the US and the UK. Most recently, Guinness announced a global partnership with Ashoka to enable the deployment of the funds to new social entrepreneurial projects around the world.
Established as part of the Guinness 250th celebrations, The Arthur Guinness Fund is an investment programme that honours the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness by supporting the vision and enterprising spirit of social entrepreneurs in Ireland.
Earlier this year, as part of the Arthur's Day celebrations in September, Guinness committed to adding a further €500,000 to The Arthur Guinness Fund.
To make the Arthur Guinness Fund accessible to as wide a range of projects and initiatives as possible, applications are sought under two main categories.
Firstly, established projects (termed as take-off projects), which have had proven working models in operation for two to five years and can demonstrate the long-term impact they are having in their communities, are eligible to receive financial support up to €100,000. This funding will be provided over two years along with a comprehensive business-mentoring programme with a view to taking their work to the next level. This includes additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland through workshops, seminars and training.
Projects that have been established in the last two years (termed as start-up projects) are also invited to apply to receive up to €50,000 in funding plus the professional mentoring support over two years. This award is specifically aimed at start-up projects that require a springboard to help turn their visions into a reality.
Since its inception, €1.65m of funding, as well as professional business support, has been provided to 20 Irish social entrepreneurs.
Work by the most recent Arthur Guinness Fund awardees focuses on a range of areas, including:
“By supporting innovative and inspiring projects, the Arthur Guinness Fund is providing a much-needed spark to bring about long-lasting positive change in our society. As we now enter the third year, it is really exciting to be able to see and be inspired by the tangible results of The Arthur Guinness Fund, especially with the projects which are now entering their second year of the programme," said Peter O'Brien, corporate relations director, Diageo Western Europe.
"We recognise how difficult it can be for projects like these to secure funding and professional business mentoring. Guinness is delighted to be able to support them both financially and through our bespoke support and mentoring programme in order to further the work they do in their communities," he said.
Awardees also benefit from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland's alumni network and events.
Applications to the Arthur Guinness Fund remain open until 5pm on Wednesday, 30 November 2011. Those interested in applying can download an application form from the Arthur Guinness Fund website.
Hand on Heart Enterprises - a model for supportive enterprise that helps
visually impaired people find meaningful work
The Arthur Guinness Fund 2011 awardees:
The Arthur Guinness Fund 2010 awardees:
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) directly supports the early stage development of social entrepreneurs by providing a range of supports.
These supports consist of financial investment in social entrepreneurs, technical training, peer networking, mentoring and links to other social entrepreneur networks.
A social entrepreneur is someone with a business head and a social heart, and someone who has the spirit, energy and drive of successful business entrepreneurs, but rather than building profitable businesses, their core purpose is to improve and enhance society, changing communities for the better, says SEI.