The Arthur Guinness Fund has reopened, with €1m again being made available to social entrepreneurs who are making a positive and sustainable impact on Irish communities.
A new dimension has been added to the Arthur Guinness Fund this year in the form of a Challenge Grant, which invites applications from start-up projects seeking both financial and practical support.
Projects that have been established in the past two years are invited to apply to receive up to €25,000 per annum for two years. This grant is specifically targeted at projects that do not necessarily have a proven model, but can illustrate the high potential of their project. The initiatives must be capable of providing an innovative way of driving positive change and sustainable social impact in Ireland.
Six specific categories as a guide
In order to encourage applications from as diverse a base as possible, another new addition to the process is the introduction of six categories: Technology and Social Media for Social Good, Skills for Life, Enriching the Environment, Social and Community Regeneration and Culture and Arts and Community Wellbeing.
A final open category is also available to projects that do not fit within any of the specific categories, but are still working towards sustainable social change in Ireland. The different categories will act as guidelines for people who are considering whether their project fits with The Arthur Guinness Fund.
“The Arthur Guinness Fund is designed as a springboard to enable Irish entrepreneurs to take their initiatives to the next level. It’s about backing people with a business head and a social heart. It is often very difficult for social entrepreneurs to attract funding at the initial stages and as such, Guinness would like to give them the opportunity to turn their innovative idea into a reality. This year we continue to work closely with our partners, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, which are experts in this area, “ said John Kennedy, managing director, Diageo Ireland.
More advanced projects
In addition to the Challenge Grant, the Arthur Guinness Fund is also seeking applications from social entrepreneurs whose projects are at a more advanced stage of development. Typically, these ventures are in operation between two and five years and can demonstrate the positive and sustainable impact they are making on Irish communities and how with funding from the Arthur Guinness Fund, this impact can be further enhanced. Applicants who have ideally been in operation for two to five years are eligible to receive up to €50,000 in funding per annum for two years.
One of the most innovative aspects of The Arthur Guinness Fund is that in addition to receiving financial support, the fund also supports a comprehensive two-year support programme for the awardees, including additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network and events.