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Celebrating the 2022-2023 Impact Awardees

When these five awardees applied to us in Spring 2022, they needed backing, someone to say, ‘we believe in you’, funding and appropriate supports. 

The SEI Impact Programme is an accelerator programme that identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support.

Programme Manager at SEI, Sophie Ainscough worked with each of the awardees to identify opportunities and challenges and work to build support plans by engaging with experts and consultants from the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland community. Over the last nine months, we have seen them grow in confidence, ambition and clarity of vision, further stepping into the social entrepreneurial role.

This years awardees:

  • Eileen McHugh – Hair Together 
  • Kim Mackenzie-Doyle – The B!G Idea
  • James Leonard & Timmy Long – The Two Norries
  • Mary Moran – DCode Dyslexia
  • Sharon Keilthy – Jiminy Eco Toys
The impact awardees

Mary Moran – DCode Dylexia

One in five students are dyslexic, and 1 in 10 young people leave school every year in Ireland unable to read. DcodeDyslexia is an easy-to-use structured literacy reading programme for dyslexic students, their parents and schools. Now, Mary’s approach to teaching kids to read is in hundreds of schools, she is in talks with PATHOS and signed a deal with one of the biggest educational book distributers in England to distribute the books to the UK and Northern Ireland.

Eileen McHugh – Hair Together

Hair Together is a 10-week personal development programme, which uses the art of hairdressing and barbering to reach and engage vulnerable young people distant from education, and women exiting the prison services. Hair Together aims to develop participants’ confidence and competence, teaches them new skills and supports them through a wrap-around wellness programme. Now, Eileen has won emerging Businesswoman of the Year with ALG & Network Ireland, with Hair Together being the first social enterprise to win an award with them.

James Leonard & Timmy Long – The Two Norries

The Two Norries  is a platform dedicated to addressing social issues through open and honest conversations. They have had over 1 million downloads of the podcast, with a number of listeners directly seeking support, accessing education or changing their attitudes towards people in addiction and in prison because of it’s content. In 2022, They increased the listenership on the podcast by 158% and are in the top one percent of followed podcasts on Spotify.

Sharon Keilthy – Jiminy Eco Toys

Jiminy Eco-Toys is the world’s first eco-activist toy store. Since starting in 2018, Jiminy has sold over €2 million of carbon-neutral and minimal-waste toys, empowering over 15,000 unique customers to choose a gift that delighted both child and planet. Sharon is now a Sustainable Development Goals champion with the department of climate. She co-organised the world’s first sustainable plastic toys conference with 100 participants including LEGO, Hasbro, Mattel and the European Commission, in February 2023.

Kim Mackenzie Doyle – The B!G Idea

The B!G Idea is a multi-award-winning educational programme for 15-19 year olds. Their programme aligns student teams with industry experts to undertake 16-week projects centred around social issues that are directly affecting young people on a local to global scale. The B!G Idea’s multi-award-winning programme has seen over 2000 students, 89 teachers, 42 schools and nearly 400 mentors from 226 companies covering every industry sector. With the help of the programme, Kim and her team are expanding their organisation to schools across Northern Ireland.

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We are hugely inspired by what the Impact Awardees are doing to improve people’s lives across Ireland, and were delighted to be able to celebrate with them. The future is in safe hands – we look forward to seeing what they achieve next!