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Interview with a social entrepreneur – Sharon Keilthy

Photo of social entrepreneur Sharon Keilthy

Social entrepreneurs are society’s problem solvers. They are people who see a problem in their society, develop a solution and take action. Sharon Keilthy is the founder of Jiminy Eco Toys.

Jiminy Eco Toys is an eco-specialist toy company, retailing and distributing the earth-kindest toys across Ireland & the UK. 

What makes social entrepreneurship unique?

“It’s amazing to be able to focus on my values and social mission on a full-time basis, before I became a social entrepreneur it was something for evenings and weekends. It’s brilliant that I can bring all of my talents, my network and everything I can do to my social mission.”

How do you think Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has helped with the support of social entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurs in Ireland?

“For me, it was just fantastic to get the recognition of being awarded the impact programme with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. It gave me a sense that what I’m doing is valid and confirmed what I believed – that what I am doing is important. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is publicizing people like me who are taking the very brave step to walk away from what’s considered a regular job and put their full-time work into solving social problems.  

Over the past 18 years, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has identified and supported more than 550 social entrepreneurs across the country like Sharon who are championing and driving solutions in areas such as mental health, homelessness, the environment, education, and unemployment. 

Are you Interested in becoming a social entrepreneur? Download our SPARK Toolkit!

Drawing on our 18 years of experience of walking the journey with social entrepreneurs, the team created the SEI Spark toolkit! This toolkit will offer practical advice and support to anyone, from any background, with an idea or passion to solve a social problem to enable them to spark positive change.

The team at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has been working to bring our website up to date, adding our 500 alumni and sharing their case studies! View the case studies below of just a selection of the social entrepreneurs that SEI has worked with. For ease of use, you can filter by county, region, sector or programme.

If you want to find out more, read the What is a Social Entrepreneur? #ARISE blog post.

 This blog post is a part of a larger project for the Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprises (ARISE). This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

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