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We were never meant to do this alone: Celebrating our 2023-2024 Impact Awardees

the 2023 Impact Awardees
The 2023-2024 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Awardees

For Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, one of the values that sits behind our vision of Accelerated social change through the power of people, is our courageous curiosity. That courageous curiosity forms the backbone of our ability to iterate, refine, recreate and co-create.

That curiosity also allows us to learn from the social entrepreneurs we work with. This awardees on this year’s Impact Programme have taught us so much about leadership, belonging, connection, resilience and what growth looks like.

Each Awardee with Programme Manager Jo Sachs Eldridge

The Importance of Partnerships in Social Entrepreneurship

Our journey has been significantly shaped by partnerships, with Kennedy Wilson, the Major Programme Sponsor, playing a pivotal role. They’ve been with us from the selection process to the launch, to the closing ceremony and hosted many key events throughout the programme. Thank you so much to Kennedy Wilson for their kind support of the 2023-2024 Impact Programme.

Allowing our Awardees To Thrive and Grow

We often talk about growth in relation to the Impact Programme – increasing impact, scaling, expanding. The 2023-24 group of awardees have done all of that and more. But what we’ve learnt is that the Impact Programme is about much more than growth – it’s about allowing the social entrepreneurs to thrive.

Thriving isn’t just about growing; it also involves periods of developing deep roots, moments of basking in the sunlight, and sometimes times of resting and restoring energy for the next big push. Thriving is not always linear, but often a cycle of rising and resting, knowing that with each pause, we grow stronger.

The journey the awardees have been on over the past nine months is a journey that has included all of those – deepening their roots, shining bright, resting and developing the connections they need for their resilience

The awardees in the SEI office during the programme

Impact Programme goals and supports

From the outset, we’ve worked closely with our awardees to identify their strengths and aspirations. Over nine months, our community has provided a wealth of support that have allowed the awardees to reach a whole range of programme goals from developing a communications strategy to transitioning to an employer to creating an impact report to strategic planning and so much more. All of these goals have helped these organisations strengthen their foundations and take significant steps forward.

Navigating Leadership Challenges

Leading in the realm of social entrepreneurship comes with its unique set of challenges. It’s about leading with purpose, questioning the status quo, and forging a new path of empathetic, caring, and rebellious leadership. It’s a path that’s often lonely and exhausting, but it’s also one of profound importance.

The closing ceremony focused on the theme of ‘we were never meant to do it alone.’

The Role of The Impact Programme

Programmes like ours provide a lifeline, offering not just financial and professional support but also spaces for leaders to connect, build resilience and transform. It’s through this support that these incredible awardees are empowered to continue their work, no longer alone in their journey.

The five impact awardees with impact programme manager jo
The five awardees presenting flowers to Programme Manager Jo Sachs Eldridge at the closing ceremony

Conclusion

We were never meant to do this alone. Through the Impact Programme, we’ve created a community that nurtures thriving, not just growth. It’s a community that stands together, ready to make the changes our world so desperately needs.

Huge congratulations to Susan, Sorcha, Sinead, Therese, Catherine and Ashe. We cannot wait to see what the future lies for you all. We are so honoured to welcome you as part of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Community.

Special thanks to Kennedy Wilson, the Major Programme Sponsor of the Impact Programme and to our community of philanthropic supporters. We wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do without your generous support. 

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