Thursday, March 26, 2020

A PORTARLINGTON resident is calling on budding entrepreneurs who are interested in solving social problems to apply for grant aid to see their initiatives come to fruition.

Notable SEI alumni and founder of Dignity Partnership, Rosemary Kunene is engaged in a social enterprise that promotes self-employment and provides support for people who are or have been in the direct provision system.

She’s asking those in Laois with early-stage ideas who are ready to grow and scale their existing projects to get their applications into Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) before Tuesday 7 April.

Up to 60 people with early-stage ideas will win a place with the Ideas Academy, where they will receive training and mentoring as they take the first steps from idea to action. The four-month programme runs in three locations around Ireland – Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Up to eight places are available for the SEI initiative. The 11-month accelerator programme includes €20,000 in direct funding and significant non-financial supports across areas such as strategy, governance, business modelling, fundraising, communications and leadership.

Rosemary came from Swaziland to live in Ireland six years ago and has been based in Portarlington for the past five years.

She said that she is “passionate about encouraging people to rise above their struggles and focus on who they are as human beings. I am interested in promoting sustainable social enterprise and community development to bring about sustainable development and social justice”.

SEI chief executive Darren Ryan said: “We believe that there are social entrepreneurs in every village and town in Ireland and we want to find them. We know that not everyone will recognise themselves as a social entrepreneur right away, so we want to let everyone know that you don’t need a perfectly polished idea or business plan to apply. We’re looking for people with courage, insight and ambition to put forward a solution to a social problem and act on it. SEI is here to support on every step of the journey.”

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By Joe Barrett
Contact Newsdesk: +353 57 86 70216

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