Dublin social entrepreneurs awarded €9,000 and place on second SEI accelerator

Padraig Conlon 18 Jan 2023
The team at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Dublin social entrepreneurs providing key interventions for children around fitness, sustainability and speech & language education have been awarded €9,000 and a place on a second SEI accelerator.

Sinead Ryan, founder of Little Fitness, Susan Adams, founder of Education for Sustainability, and co-founders of Sing & Speak, Lillian Spellman and Christopher Spellman are three of eight organisations to win a place Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s (SEI) Action Lab programme.

This three-month programme aims to accelerate social change through the power of people. The eight successful participants had previously taken part on the SEI Ideas Academy, an earlier programme, and were chosen for the Action Lab based on their potential and progress since 2022.

Sinead Ryan, Susan Adams, and the Spellman mother-son duo all earned their place on SEI’s follow-up accelerator, which includes tailored support and a bursary of €3,000 each. This win shows the continuation of support from SEI, with all three projects having graduated from the SEI Ideas Academy in 2020 or 2022. Their projects are:

Sinead Ryan Little Fitness

  • Little Fitness is a fun, inclusive, educational fitness programme for children who are experiencing homelessness. The programme aims to empower and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Sinead is based in Santry and won the Dublin City Social Enterprise Award in 2022 for her work.

    Susan Adams Education for Sustainability

  • Education for Sustainability is a non-profit social-enterprise aimed at increasing climate literacy and fostering behaviour change in Ireland. It’s vision is to create a world where young people are actively engaged in taking action for sustainable development by making environmental education & sustainability a fundamental part of the national curriculum. Susan is based in Killiney, has recently taken on her first employee and is working in 74 schools.

Chris and Lillian Spellman Sing & Speak

  • Sing & Speak provides?unique, beautifully illustrated music videos for young children with communication needs. Their on-screen singers guide the adult and child through each song. The platform will assess each child’s communication level, recommend tailored songs to target specific communication needs, and measures the child’s progress. Lillian and Chris are from Clontarf. They have just launched their first video of the Sing & Speak series.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Action Lab support the strategic progress of high-potential solutions and helps social entrepreneurs to develop as leaders by supporting each of you to tackle prominent challenges you are facing.

The programme will do this through consultation, workshopping and by maximising the expertise available within SEI’s extensive network to help each participant progress towards achieving tangible impact.

The other seven organisations focus area varies from Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, holistic menstrual health education and creating a supportive network of farmers, crafters, processors and designers in facilitating an Irish regenerative fibre system.

Participants were selected for the programme following a period of internal research and selection on SEI’s behalf. At the end of programme, participants can apply for a share of €21,000 seed funding to further support their work.

Speaking about the Action Lab, SEI’s Programme Manager said “We are very excited to launch the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Action Lab. The eight participants are incredible social entrepreneurs, who we believe, with the right support, really will accelerate the pace of change, and help solve some of Ireland’s entrenched social problems.”

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation committed to the vision of accelerated social change through the power of people. Its mission is to harness the cumulative power of people through programmes, direct funding and an experienced community of alumni, funders, and sector leaders.

Since its foundation in 2004, SEI has supported more than 550 social entrepreneurs across the country.

Alumni of SEI programmes include Pieta House, AsIAm, Irish Community Air Ambulance, GIY, FoodCloud and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.

SEI are grateful to have the 2023 Action Lab Programme supported by The Tomar Trust, eBay Foundation and Seed Fund supported by RBC Brewin Dolphin.

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