Google launches €500,000 fund for social entrepreneurs in Ireland

Fund funded by Google.org will create a 12-month accelerator program for social entrepreneurs who need support.

Google’s philanthropic arm is providing €500,000 to underserved social entrepreneurs in Ireland to grow their organisations.

The Google.org fund goes to Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) and INCO, both bodies focused on helping social entrepreneurs scale their ideas and achieve results.

“Social business is an increasingly important part of a resilient, fair and sustainable economy,” Google Ireland chief Adaire Fox-Martin said at the announcement at the company’s European headquarters in Dublin.

“By providing better access to capital, talent, markets and technology, companies like Google have the opportunity to meaningfully serve the communities in which they operate and support humanitarian and environmental causes that have impact.”

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SEI will use the funding to launch the Changing Ireland Accelerator Programme, a 12-month initiative for underserved social entrepreneurs who need support to accelerate their impact.

In parallel with the accelerator, which is now open for proposals, INCO will distribute the funding as cash sub-grants managed by the participant.

“These grants reflect Google’s continued commitment to supporting social entrepreneurs around the world and the principle that entrepreneurship can be the best way to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges,” added Fox-Martin.

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The selection process will start in February 2023 and successful applicants will be appointed to the program from June 2023.

Since its founding in 2004, SEI has supported more than 550 social entrepreneurs across the country. Alumni of SEI programs include Pieta House, AsIAm, Irish Community Air Ambulance, GIY, FoodCloud and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.

Meanwhile. INCO is a global non-profit organization that has a presence in more than 40 countries. From 2021, he leads StartSocial, a Google.org-backed initiative that provides funding and capacity building for more than 400 social enterprises across Europe.

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“This initiative represents a concrete step towards building a more diverse and inclusive business ecosystem,” said Mathieu Planchard, Global Head of Development at INCO.

“The combination of capacity building support and strategic grant funding is the right recipe to break down the barriers facing disadvantaged founders in Ireland today.”

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