Enactus Ireland Research Shows Positive Impact in a Difficult Year
5th January 2021
Research produced following the Enactus Ireland Next Gen Accelerator programme shows that student social projects have impacted almost 1,750 people since January last year.
Projects developed by students in 2020 supported social groups such as the dyslexic community, the homeless and those with intellectual disabilities. The Enactus Next Gen Programme is designed to support projects with a strong proof of social impact and sustainability and was approved with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Data collected from the programme, shows that 63% of students say that their projects have been more impactful despite the Covid-19 pandemic. All students surveyed reported that their projects increased in impact throughout the programme with 72% stating that the programme increased their influence by over 20%. In addition, over 60% of students received funding from Enactus for tools and resources and 46% received funding for promotional activities. All participating students received online training and mentorship with leading Irish corporates, which aimed to support the students with the development of their projects into viable social enterprises.
Enactus Ireland Country Manager Laura Dennehy said: “Considering the extremely challenging year students just had, Enactus is very proud of the impact of the social projects during 2020.
The results of the research are extremely encouraging as young entrepreneurs emerge into the Irish business landscape and the results emphasise the rise of the importance of corporate social responsibility in business development”.
“The Enactus programme provided all participating students with tailored training and mentorship to support them through challenges during the year. All students also reported that their involvement in the programme allowed them to develop their skills, both personally and professionally and develop a sustainability plan for their projects, which is very important. Following the success of the programme, over 80% of students reported that they intend to make their project a social enterprise.”
Well known Enactus social enterprises include FoodCloud – co-founded by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien – a non-profit social enterprise which seeks to reduce the environmental, social and economic impact of food; Access Earth – founded by Matt McCann – an app and website which allows people & businesses to rate places by their accessibility; Thriftify – co-founded by Rahil Nazir, Rónán Ó Dálaigh, Timur Negru and Emily Beere – a platform through which Irish charities can move their retail stores online to help offset the impact of Covid-19 measures on revenue and Dyslex.ie – founded by Kevin Cogan – a chrome extension that helps the dyslexic community increase their reading speed and reduce the number of errors while reading on any website.
In May 2020, Enactus DCU was crowned national champion and progressed to the global semi-finals after surpassing South Africa, the Netherlands and Eswatini in the opening round. In doing so, Enactus DCU is now ranked in the top 1pc of teams globally.