Social entrepreneurs are society’s problem solvers. They are people with courage, insight and ambition to put forward a solution to a social problem, and act on it. Broader than social enterprise, we see social entrepreneurs as people who are driving new approaches to solving social problems, regardless of the business model being used. Social entrepreneurs are mission driven rather than profit driven.
We recognise that the journey for many social entrepreneurs is unclear, risky and lonely – both when starting out, and when trying to scale. Our mission is to find people with solutions to social problems and support them on every step of the journey. We do this through our programmes, direct funding, and our incredible community of alumni, funders, and sector leaders.
Our programmes are anchored across our three strategic pillars on the journey of a social entrepreneur – inspiring and incubating ideas at the first STEP; accelerating and developing organisations that require a LEAP of faith; and ensuring the best solutions can SOAR and impact at scale. Wrapped around every stage of the journey is our COMMUNITY of supporters, mentors and sector leaders.
We know that the first step of the journey is often the hardest one to take. We support social entrepreneurs from idea stage through to pilot stage, and beyond. If you are looking to take the first step, check out our Spark programme and our Ideas Academy programme.
We also run a follow up programme, the Action Lab, for graduates of the Ideas Academy to support them as they pilot their solution.
When a social entrepreneur has taken the first steps, the following stage often requires a leap of faith. We support social entrepreneurs as they navigate this risky part of the journey.
If you have piloted and tested your solution and are looking for support to help you grow your impact, find out more information about our Impact Programme here.
For social entrepreneurs who have developed a scalable model, we help them to develop themselves and their organisations to deliver impact at scale through bespoke financial and non-financial supports. Our Scale Partnerships programme provides bespoke support and investment to social entrepreneurs who have completed a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland programme and are ready to receive further funding and development support to scale and grow their impact.
Wrapped around every stage of the journey is the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland community of alumni and supporters. Social entrepreneurs who have completed a Leap or Soar stage programme are invited to join our Community Programme where they can access further supports, training, and networking opportunities. Action Lab participants are also invited to take part in our Community Programme for a period of one year following the end of the programme.