Two Galway based social entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for the annual Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Programme, sponsored by DCC plc.
Over 180 entries were received by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, with 50 being shortlisted to attend Social Entrepreneurs Bootcamp in Dublin’s Liffey Trust Studios this week.
The prestigious competition, now in its eleventh year, has supported 179 social entrepreneurs to date and invested €5.82m in direct funding to projects in areas ranging from community and active citizenship, education and learning, environment and sustainability, and mental and physical health.
The shortlisted entries from Galway are Brigid Barry from ‘Burrenbeo Trust’, a landscape charity focused securing a sustainable future for the Burren and Enda Dodd of ‘Animated Language Learning’, a visual language learning programme designed to help children with language learning difficulties.
Attendees at Bootcamp received expert coaching during workshops specially designed to further their understanding of crucial business methods such as fundraising, networking and innovation. Participants were then given 15 minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Following the completion of Bootcamp, six Impact applicants and twelve Elevator applicants will be chosen to proceed to the next stage of the selection process.
This year the competition will be providing €420,000 in direct funding to nine social entrepreneurs. In addition, direct support valued at €180,000 will be made available to successful applicants ensuring that they are fully equipped to bring their vision to fruition as soon as possible and have a positive impact on their respective communities and beyond.
CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Darren Ryan, said: “We are delighted to have had so many strong entries to our Awards Programme this year. Bootcamp is one of the most exciting days of the year for us as we have the opportunity to meet Ireland’s top social entrepreneurs. We are constantly inspired by the passion and dedication we see at Bootcamp and can’t wait to hear our shortlisted social entrepreneurs’ ideas to change Ireland.”
Irish headquartered international company DCC plc have sponsored the awards selection process for the last five years. CEO of DCC, Tommy Breen, said: “We are proud to support the SEI awards. It is a great privilege to play a role in supporting Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs working to have a positive impact on our society.”
The successful applicants will be announced at a gala ceremony in October 2015. For more information about the competition please visit www.socialentrepreneurs.ie
New President for Local Ireland
The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.
Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.
Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”
Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.
He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.
Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.
Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.
Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region
The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.
At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.
Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:
- Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
- Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
- Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
- Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
- Investment in people and skills
- Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
- Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth
Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless
One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.
In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.
Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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