The three social enterprises focus on the areas of mental health, homelessness and societal inequality.
Today (13 September), it was announced that Irish wellbeing start-up KeepAppy will represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, alongside 2030 Leaders – a project to empower disadvantaged youths – and Hope, which was set up to help homeless people develop skills and earn a wage.
The Enactus World Cup, which is held in Silicon Valley, offers social enterprises and student social entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a €45,000 prize. All three of the Irish teams are there to represent Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
The Enactus World Cup takes place between 16 and 18 September in San Jose, and consists of three days of competition, collaboration and celebration, bringing together 3,500 socially conscious leaders from 37 countries.
KeepAppy, which was recently featured in our list of 12 student start-ups to watch, is a wellness platform founded by Aimee-Louise Carton and Will Ben Sims.
The pair of student entrepreneurs developed an app to empower users to take control of their mental and physical wellbeing, by tracking all of the vitals that impact their state of mind, through increasing self-awareness and engaging in positive behaviour practices.
Carton said: “We’re thrilled to be representing Ireland at the Enactus World Cup. It’s a fantastic accomplishment to be asked to represent Trinity College Dublin at such a prestigious contest in Silicon Valley.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing KeepAppy on the world stage, and through this we hope to spread awareness of the app and help people with their mental wellness.”
In Ireland, there are around 10,000 people experiencing homelessness, including around 130 people who sleep rough each night in Dublin. As the housing crisis escalates, current supports are stretched and can often only offer temporary solutions to long-term problems.
Hope partnered with the Dublin Simon Community to conduct a needs assessment, which highlighted the importance of social inclusion and practical experience on an individual’s transition out of homelessness.
The project gives homeless people the opportunity to coach soccer teams at TCD, equipping them with practical and soft skills, as well as confidence in a professional environment, while paying them a wage to do so.
Hope ran a pilot programme last year, which saw two teams of Trinity students get coaching from two individuals named Tara and Anthony who were experiencing homelessness. After nine weeks of the programme, there was excellent feedback from both the coaches and the players, so the project will run again.
Tara will return this year to train the soccer teams, along with three new coaches from the Simon Community. The project is also looking at other ways to empower coaches, by holding workshops on public speaking, CV building and interview skills.
The third project representing Ireland at this year’s Enactus World Cup is called 2030 Leaders. This project empowers disadvantaged youth through a programme of training on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and leadership skills. The programme encourages young people to go on and teach their skills to others.
Ireland committed itself to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, promising to end global hunger, fight inequalities and tackle climate change.
The 2030 Leaders project was set up by young people who believe that Ireland is failing to do its part to tackle inequality, leaving a large divide between social classes in the country.
2030 Leaders is running training programmes to give young people workshops and classes on public speaking, planning, youth work and political topics such as living conditions and democracy.