Google launches €500,000 fund for social entrepreneurs in Ireland

6 Dec 2022

From left: Thibaud Le Moing, Adaire Fox-Martin and Tim Griffiths. Image: Naoise Culhane

Funding from will support a 12-month accelerator programme for social entrepreneurs in Ireland.

Google’s philanthropic arm is providing €500,000 to help underserved social entrepreneurs in Ireland to grow their organisations.

The funding is being given to Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) and INCO, two groups aimed at helping social entrepreneurs scale their ideas and make impact.

“Social enterprise is an increasingly crucial component of a resilient, equitable and sustainable economy,” Adaire Fox-Martin, head of Google Ireland, said at the announcement in the company’s European headquarters in Dublin.

“By providing the sector better access to capital, talent, markets and technology, businesses such as Google have the opportunity to meaningfully serve the communities they operate in and advance impactful humanitarian and environmental causes.”

SEI will use the funding to run the Changing Ireland Accelerator Programme, a 12-month initiative for underserved social entrepreneurs needing support to accelerate their impact.

Running parallel to the accelerator, which is now open for submissions, INCO will disperse the funding as cash sub-grants administered to participants.

“These grants reflect Google’s continued commitment to supporting social entrepreneurs around the world and to the principle that entrepreneurship can be the best way to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges,” Fox-Martin added.

The selection process will launch in February 2023, with successful applicants appointed to the accelerator programme from June 2023.

Since its foundation in 2004, SEI has supported more than 550 social entrepreneurs across the country. Alumni of SEI programmes include Pieta House, AsIAm, Irish Community Air Ambulance, GIY, FoodCloud and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.

Meanwhile, INCO is a global non-profit that has a presence across more than 40 countries. Since 2021, it has been leading StartSocial, an initiative supported by to provide funding and capacity-building to more than 400 social enterprises across Europe.

“This initiative represents a concrete step towards building a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Mathieu Planchard, global head of development at INCO.

“The combination of capacity-building support and strategic grant funding is the right recipe to break down the barriers faced by underserved founders in Ireland today.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic