Food Waste Social Entrepreneurs Shifting Attitudes Around Solving Social Problems
In a world where a great deal of uncertainty remains, social entrepreneurs are stepping up with solutions to social problems and are inspiring others through taking action.
That's according to Tim Griffiths, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) who held a special online event this week - the SEI Gathering - recognising the achievements of social entrepreneurs this year.
Social entrepreneurs Mark Kirwan from Roscommon and Aisling Kirwan from Dublin, co-founders of Positive Carbon, were among those honoured, along with five other organisations from the SEI community at the virtual event on 12th October.
Positive Carbon works with hospitality businesses to reduce their impact on the environment through providing a fully automated food waste monitoring solution.
In the last 12 months, Positive Carbon ran their first pilot project in a Dublin hotel, and over the next 12 months, the pair plan to preventing 60,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Since its foundation in 2004, SEI has supported more than 400 social entrepreneurs across the country.
This year, SEI saw 172 applications to its Ideas Academy, with 60 securing a place on the programme that supports people with early stages solutions to move from idea to action.
SEI also runs a number of other programmes for social entrepreneurs from start up to scale up.
Speaking at the Gathering event, Tim Griffiths, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said, "Over the past year we have seen incredible feats of human ingenuity and kindness shine through. We've seen multiple COVID-19 vaccines developed at unbelievable speed and technology continue to transform the way we all stay connected. Alongside these break-throughs, social entrepreneurs are shifting the attitude and expectations about solving social problems from 'should', to 'could', to 'will'. They are leading by example.
"This pandemic has proven that innovation and resilience are two of our strongest assets. All around us we see people not just coming up with ideas, but following through, working tirelessly - being the change they wish to see. We see that innovation and motivation across the SEI community and the nation. The past 18 months have changed the world we live in, and the next 18 months are critical too. As an organisation, SEI is committed to continuing to drive innovation and champion solutions. The SEI Gathering is a special event for honouring members of the SEI community who have gone above and beyond in rolling out their solution to a social problem. We are proud to be supporting more social entrepreneurs than ever before in 2021, and we are committed to growing our support and impact in the coming years."
The SEI Gathering online event was hosted by alumni of the organisation - Tammy Darcy, founder of the Shona Project and Tony Griffin, co-founder of The Soar Foundation, with all the featured social entrepreneurs joining in studio for a live broadcast.
More than 250 members of SEI's community - made up of alumni, social sector experts, business leaders and SEI supporters - registered to attend the online event, with people logging on from places all around Ireland and the world.
DCC plc, the international sales, marketing and support services group founded and headquartered in Dublin, is the flagship supporter of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Gathering event.
Commenting, Chief Executive of DCC plc Donal Murphy said, "DCC plc knows how important it is to support the people affecting real change across the island of Ireland. It is inspiring and encouraging to witness social entrepreneurs helping to drive positive change both in their communities and at a national level in the wake of the pandemic. We'd like to congratulate and thank the social entrepreneurs honoured at this event, and those working in villages and towns across Ireland, for all your hard work."
For more information on the social entrepreneurs honoured at the SEI Gathering, see https://socialentrepreneurs.ie/sei-gathering-2021/.
SEI will launch a funding programme for early-stage social entrepreneurs on 18th October.
SEI will make 32 bursaries of €250 available to people from under-represented and marginalised communities who have the spark of an idea for solving a social problem.
Find out more at by following Social Entrepreneurs Ireland on social media @SEIreland.
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