Winner of Champion Changemakers National Pitch-Fest announced, securing a Prize Bursary valued at €10,000
‘Shamrock Squad Adventures’ from RDI Hub and Dingle Hub in Kerry announced as overall winner of Champion Changemakers National Pitch-Fest 2022. The social enterprise is a community of special needs families which focuses on working with support agencies, service providers and other special needs families to make the outdoors accessible for all needs
- Shortlisted individuals and groups presented their social enterprise idea to a panel of expert judges at the National Pitch-Fest to win a Prize Bursary of supports and services valued at €10,000
- Judges included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Woods & Partners, Rethink Ireland and Social Impact Ireland
- Funding for the ‘Champion Changemakers’ initiative secured from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the ARISE (Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprise) Scheme 2021
‘Shamrock Squad Adventures’ from RDI Hub and Dingle Hub is the overall winner of the Champion Changemakers National Pitch-Fest 2022. The groups social enterprise is a community of special needs families which focuses on working with support agencies, service providers and other special needs families to make the outdoors accessible for all needs.
Shortlisted groups and individuals took part in the National Pitch-Fest hosted at Innovate Communities, Ballymun where they pitched their social enterprise idea to a panel of expert judges from Enterprise Ireland, Woods & Partners, Rethink Ireland and Social Impact Ireland. Each idea was categorised under one of three themes – Environmental and Climate Action, Economic Inequality or Human Wellbeing. The shortlist was selected from a series of regional events that took place in community enterprise centres and enterprise hubs around Ireland in September, where participants took part in workshops and worked with local mentors to develop their idea into a social enterprise.
‘United Women’ from Action Tuam is a group of Refugee and Migrant women living in direct provision in Galway who were ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges at the National Pitch-Fest also. The women have come together to support each other and their community. Their ambition is to form a social enterprise using food to integrate communities, promote cultural identity, teach life skills, educate others on their traditions and create employment. Other ideas presented to the judges featured a new eco concrete solution, a digital support platform for new parents from minority groups, social integration through music and an online marketplace connecting lift-seekers with vehicle owners.
The overall winner, Shamrock Squad Adventures, will benefit from a Prize Bursary to the value of €10,000 which will set them on their journey towards the establishment of their sustainable and successful social enterprise and consists of key supports and services including:
- Five dedicated mentoring sessions facilitated by the Local Enterprise Network
- Idea verification processes, strategy scoping and impact framework development from Social Impact Ireland
- Access to ReThink Ireland’s ‘Start your own Social Enterprise Programme’ which will provide essential tools and guidance required to take their idea to the next level, culminating in the opportunity to pitch for investment or additional non-financial supports to the investment value of €10,000
- Legal advice from Arthur Cox on setting up a company limited by guarantee (CLG)
- For the registered company, pro-bono support about the preparation of audit exempt financial statements for the purposes of CRO Filings and compliance with the Companies Act 2014 from Woods & Partners
- Provision of dedicated hot-desking space for a 6-month period in the location of choice from participating member locations from the CEAI
- Hardware and Software kit from Acer in conjunction with Softcat plc
Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager at CEAI said:
“The energy, enthusiasm and creativity we saw from the finalists at the National Pitch-Fest was amazing. It was clear every participant is passionate about tackling social and environmental issues and creating positive change in their communities. We are so grateful to our excellent judges that were involved in the National Pitch-Fest, all the enterprise centres and hubs who participated in hosting the regional events and our brilliant partners who provided the range of supports and services included in the Prize Bursary. It was a privilege to witness such a high standard of social enterprise ideas and pitches, particularly during a time where these solutions are critical in society and to the economy.
A massive congratulations from myself and all the team at CEAI to the winning idea from Shamrock Squad Adventures. Their pitch was incredible and they deserve all the success going forward. I cannot wait to follow their social enterprise journey and watch it become a reality.”
The overall winner of Champion Changemakers 2022, Shamrock Squad Adventures said:
“We are delighted that Shamrock Squad Adventures is the 2022 Champion Changemaker, awarded by the Community Enterprise Association Ireland. We have been working with amazing mentors from RDI Hub and Dingle Hub since the hackathon in September. Shamrock Squad Adventures is dedicated to making the outdoors accessible and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their abilities, and with the support bursary from the Community Enterprise Association Ireland, we hope to accelerate the platform development.”
Pauline Gannon, Co-founder & Director of Impact, Social Impact Ireland on behalf of the judging panel said:
“Champion Changemakers has provided a platform that supports community changemakers to develop solutions to the challenges they experience within their own communities, giving national recognition and supports, to local innovation. The exemplary projects showcased today, offer real solutions to overcome real challenges within communities across Ireland. It has been a privilege to be part of the process and we offer congratulations to all the projects. The high standard made the judging very difficult but also offers great hope for the future of Champion Changemakers as it grows from strength to strength.”
The CEAI would like to thank all their partners for supporting Champion Changemakers and to the organisations contributing their time and services for the Prize Bursary including the Local Enterprise Network, Social Impact Ireland, Rethink Ireland, Arthur Cox, Woods & Partners, Acer and SoftCat plc.
Notes to Editor:
This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund. The funding allocated is part of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2021 and is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with Pobal.
About the Community Enterprise Association Ireland
Established over 20 years ago, the Community Enterprise Association Ireland, previously known as the National Association for Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC), is the country’s leading network of enterprise hubs, co-working locations, and flexible working spaces. Government-funded and supported by Enterprise Ireland, the organisation works to drive real innovation and entrepreneurship across local communities and regions.
The Community Enterprise Association Ireland achieves this by continually working to raise the overall quality, environmental and innovative performance of the sector, ensuring the national hub network continues to support the realisation of a sustainable and balanced regional development model for Ireland. As an established and respected voice of the sector, the organisation also confidently represents local enterprise centres/hubs at government level so that all new strategies, policies, and funding programmes take the needs and ambition of each community into account.
For more information visit communityenterprise.ie or follow CEAI on Twitter @CEAIreland and LinkedIn Community Enterprise Association Ireland