Ideas Academy


Supporting budding social entrepreneurs to move from idea to action

Applications to the 2024 Ideas Academy are now closed.

Do you have an innovative idea to solve a social or environmental problem? Are you ambitious, entrepreneurial, and passionate about social change?


This three-month programme will provide you with the support and direction you need to help you to kick-start your idea and take the next steps to start tackling the problem.

Participants on the Ideas Academy are supported to clearly articulate, refine and progress their solution, to build skills and accelerate learning in core areas of importance to social entrepreneurs, and to move from idea to action.

We have 30 places available on our 2024 programme.

The programme will be delivered remotely with three in-person events (as detailed in the applicant guide) for building community and making meaningful connections.

Together will a small community of fellow innovators, participants on the Ideas Academy will receive:

Training & Support

Over several core learning days, you will be supported to deepen your understanding of the problem you’ve identified, refine your solution, and develop an action plan to pilot your idea post-programme.

Peer Support & Networking Opportunities

We know that that it can be lonely being a social entrepreneur. On the Ideas Academy you will receive peer support and access to networking opportunities to help build your confidence and network, and gain insight into the social entrepreneur journey.

Funding Available

Each project selected for the Ideas Academy programme will also receive a €500 bursary.

At the end of the programme all participants will have the opportunity to apply to pitch for a portion of €25,000 seed funding to further pilot their idea.

Important Information & Announcements

  • Applications to the Ideas Academy open once per year
  • We will open for applications from 13 February to 12 March

More information about the Ideas Academy can be found in the Application Guide, including eligibility criteria, key dates, and FAQs.

Supported by:

Who is it for?

People from all backgrounds with early-stage innovative ideas to solve social problems in Ireland

What we offer

Group training in areas such as Understanding the Problem, Refining the Solution, Storytelling, Piloting and more.
Peer Support
SEI consultancy & advice
Networking opportunities
€500 Programme bursary
Opportunity to pitch for portion of €25,000 seed funding

Key Dates



13th February to 12th March

Information Session

Tuesday, 20 February at 1pm

Application Webinar

Tuesday, 27 February at 1pm

Application Decision

26th April

2024 Ideas Academy Launch

9th May
Online delivery with three in person events
30 idea-stage social entrepreneurs
25,000 Seed fund available

Information Session

Tuesday, 20 February at 1pm

An overview of the programme where you can meet with the Programme Manager and previous programme graduates.

Watch the recording

Application Webinar

Tuesday, 27 February at 1pm

A practical session where our team will take you through the grant application process, how to navigate the platform, and share examples of strong and weak answers.

Watch the recording

Who is eligible?

  • You must have identified a social or environmental problem and have an effective solution to solve it.    
  • You, and your solution partner (if applying as partnership), must be aged 18 years or over at the time of applying for the programme.   
  • You must be the person/people leading on this idea/solution – the main driver(s) and decision maker(s). 
  • The primary focus of the impact of your solution must be in Ireland.     
  • You must be available to commit to full attendance for all of the core learning sessions on the Ideas Academy.  

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and we are committed to providing equal opportunities regardless of gender identity, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or religion. (The Equal Status Acts 2000-2018)

Corporate Partner
The Ideas Academy is kindly supported by Bank of America

Our other early-stage programmes

Spark Programme

Providing the spark to set early-stage ideas alight

Action Lab

For Social Entrepreneurs Who Have Completed The Ideas Academy