In September, an important piece of Irish technology industry history was made when Red Hat acquired a company from Waterford called FeedHenry for €63.5m in cash.
Dublin: 01.03.2015 02.55AM
The social entrepreneurs from the 10 start-ups that have been picked for this year’s Arthur Guinness Fund, at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
Ten social enterprises are set to receive financial and business support to the value of €700,000 from the 2012 Arthur Guinness Fund. The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, TD, will be at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin to recognise the 10 social ventures this morning.
Depending on whether they are start-up projects or ventures at a more advanced stage in their development, the 10 awardees will receive between €50,000 and €100,000 each as part of a two-year programme.
The Arthur Guinness Fund itself was set up in 2009 as part of Guinness' 250th anniversary. The fund aims to continue the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness to support Ireland's social entrepreneurs.
Since 2009, it has awarded €1.65m, along with business mentoring, to 20 projects across Ireland that are making a difference to society by addressing specific issues.
This year, the Arthur Guinness Fund received 440 applications. Diageo said the groups that are receiving this year's awards focus on a broad range of areas, but with a strong focus on employment and getting people back to work.
"These 10 awardees were chosen because of their outstanding potential to make a genuinely positive impact on Irish society," said David Smith, country director, Diageo Ireland.
He said the awardees are working to get people back to work, as well as offering innovative solutions to mental health problems and getting entrepreneurs and small businesses to work together.
Here's a snapshot of this year's awardees ...
Set up by Lucy Masterson, Hireland is striving to encourage job creation for Ireland's skilled unemployed through collective entrepreneurship and positive thinking.
Dress for Success Ireland
Sonya Lennon set up Dress for Success Ireland with the aim of answering the needs of low-income women seeking employment and self-sufficiency.
Raising and Giving Ireland
Daithi de Buitleir is behind Raising and Giving. The enterprise is aiming to empower a new student body that is active in shaping the future of Ireland.
Set up by Kevin Empey, Worklink is a volunteer-led employment support group network with the aim of assisting unemployed job seekers to successfully transition into full employment.
Aviva Cohen set up Neuro Hero, which is developing apps and technology solutions to improve the lives of people with speech difficulties.
Restaurant 180 has been set up by Alan Browne & Shirley Agnew. Its mission is to provide unique training opportunities to young people with learning disabilities.
Anne Bedos established Rothar to repair abandoned bicycles and reduce the amount of old bicycles going to landfill. It trains and employs people who are long-term unemployed as bike mechanics.
Krystian Fikert set up MyMind as a new approach to mental health problems. It offers affordable and non-medical support to people with mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, addiction and work-related stress.
Centre for Creative Practices
Monika Sapielak is behind the Centre for Creative Practices, a multi-purpose arts centre to connect, integrate and promote immigrant, experimental and emerging artists among the local arts scene.
Ireland Reaching Out
Ireland Reaching Out has been set up by Mike Feerick to connect people of Irish heritage around the world, helping them to become part of a virtual community with their place of origin.