Exceptional Irish people celebrated as award finalists
Record 200 applications received by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Dublin, June 8th 2011: Eight exceptional organisations have been announced as finalists of the 2011 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards, each vying for a part of the €650,000 prize fund. The prize fund, supported by DCC plc, has increased by over a third this year in response to the increasing strength of social entrepreneurship in Ireland and the growing need for the services social entrepreneurs provide.

The finalists include environmental entrepreneur Sheila Gallagher of Galway’s ‘Green Sod Land Trust’, Joan Freeman of Pieta House, Steven Daly of Camara Ireland, Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell-Keating of ‘Women for Election’, Lisa Domican of Grace App Communication, Michael Kelly from GIY Ireland, Krystian Fikert of MyMind, and Sean Love of Fighting Words.

This year, the eight finalists have been chosen from over 200 applicants and will compete for a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award, which will be presented to three winners next October to help them grow and increase the impact that they are having around the country. The finalists will now embark on a three month ‘finalists programme’, where they will receive funding and support to assess and develop their ideas prior to final selection of the 2011 winners in October.

Announcing the finalists, CEO Sean Coughlan said, “It is a testament to the growth of social entrepreneurship in Ireland that we have seen such high standards of applicants to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards year on year. The strength of social entrepreneurship is so strong that we feel it merits strong support, and we are delighted, with the help of DCC plc and our other partners, to be able to increase funding of our finalists and eventual winners.”

Fostering the development of solutions to Ireland’s most pressing social problems, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland celebrates social entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland was the first and remains one of very few sources of support for social entrepreneurs.

Since 2005, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has provided support to 142 social entrepreneurs, directly investing over €3.7m into supporting these exceptional individuals.
For more information visit www.socialentrepreneurs.ie.