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Changing Lives: The Unsung Heroes Supporting Positive Transformation


Social Entrepreneurs Ireland recently announced the recipients of its Changing Ireland Accelerator programme, the organization’s most prestigious offering. Out of over 70 applications, four organizations were selected for their proven models in addressing significant social issues. These awardees will benefit from the €500,000 programme to expand and grow their organizations. The chosen organizations are Dabbledoo, which provides primary schools with resources and training; Gorm Dac, which unifies social and cultural differences for marginalized communities; Helium Arts, which reduces social isolation for children with long-term health conditions; and Her Sport, which empowers and advocates for girls and women in sport. SEI CEO Tim Griffiths commended these individuals for their dedication to creating positive change and expressed confidence in their ability to transform lives and communities across Ireland.

Over the next year, the Changing Ireland Accelerator will provide tailored support to these organizations based on their specific needs. SEI will focus on areas such as leadership development, marketing and communications, strategic planning, and sustainable funding. The programme is fully funded by Google.org, as part of its European-wide pledge of €20 million to support social innovators. INCO, a global non-profit organization, will disperse the funding. INCO has been leading SocialTides, an initiative supported by Google.org, which has provided funding and capacity-building to over 400 social enterprises in Europe. The chosen entrepreneurs in the Changing Ireland Accelerator programme have already demonstrated their impact and insight into their respective fields, making a tangible difference in a multicultural Ireland.

Throughout the 12-month programme, the awardees will receive one-on-one support, coaching, and consultancy from SEI. They will also participate in group training sessions. In addition, they will have the opportunity to work with experienced social entrepreneurs and leading businesspeople in Ireland. Mathieu Planchard, Global Head of Development at INCO, believes that this programme will contribute to building a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The combination of capacity-building support and grant funding will help overcome the barriers faced by underserved founders in Ireland.

SEI’s mission is to drive accelerated social change through the power of people. Since its establishment in 2004, SEI has supported over 550 social entrepreneurs, distributed over €7.5 million in direct funding, and secured over €7 million in pro-bono support. Some notable alumni of SEI programmes include Pieta House, AsIAm, Irish Community Air Ambulance, GIY, FoodCloud, and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association. Tim Griffiths, CEO of SEI, previously worked in the advertising industry and has been involved in supporting social entrepreneurs through organizations like Ashoka and ChangeX. He believes that SEI has a unique and special culture that values and supports the betterment of Irish society.

As a privately funded not-for-profit organization, SEI relies on donations from individuals, corporate partners, and foundations. The organization is committed to upholding the highest standards of governance, transparency, and accountability. In 2022, SEI achieved the Charities Institute of Ireland Triple Lock Standard, which recognizes charities that excel in transparent reporting, ethical fundraising, and strong governance structures. As SEI approaches its 20th anniversary in 2024, Tim Griffiths reflects on the organization’s growth and impact over the past two decades. He is excited about the future and the potential for even greater accelerated social change in Ireland.

Thomas Lyons
Thomas Lyons
Thomas, the founder and chief editor at Top Rated, harbours a deep-seated passion for business, news, and product reviews. His thirst for knowledge and experience has led him on a journey across the length and breadth of the country, enabling him to garner a wealth of insight. At TopRated.ie, his sole aim is to deliver meticulously researched news and provide impartial reviews of fact checked Irish companies, thus helping readers make well-informed decisions.


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