SEI Presents Impact Awards to Five Social Entrepreneurs 

25th May 2022

Posted In: FYI

Five social entrepreneur-led organisations tackling mental health (Shapes of Grief), inaccessible technology (Peer and ByoWave), food waste (Positive Carbon) and language inequality (Mother Tongues) have been presented with a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Impact Award.

The five organisations, who are addressing some of Ireland’s biggest social problems through innovative solutions, won a place on the SEI Impact Programme in August 2021 after the programme drew more than 110 applications from all corners of Ireland.

The SEI Impact Programme is a nine-month accelerator programme that identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support.  The 2021-2022 Impact Awardees received training in areas such as fundraising, governance, leadership, and storytelling, in addition to €20,000 in direct, unrestricted funding.

The 2021-2022 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Awardees are:

ByoWave – Brandon Blacoe and Eibhlin O’Riordan: ByoWave makes modular, accessible, and customisable video game controllers for people with disabilities, enabling everyone to build their own way to play. ByoWave’s prototype Proteus controller, which uses universal design, has been tested by over 50 people with different disabilities, who have successfully created controllers based on their own needs and way of playing. ByoWave aims to have over 2,000 units ready for distribution by December 2023, with plans to scale internationally in the future.

Mother Tongues – Dr Francesca La Morgia: Mother Tongues aspiration is to raise awareness and provide training in the area of bilingualism, through delivering training and informative resources. In 2022 alone, Mother Tongues has reached over 2,000 children and their families through its diverse programme of events.

Peer Educational Technologies – Graham Brocklebank: Peer is cloud-based assistive technology solution for people with dyslexia that addresses accessibility as well as reading and spelling needs. To date, Peer has carried out pilots with universities in both London and Dublin, supporting over 100 students through its online platform with further plans for growth. Peer is also looking to develop long-term learning solutions to support people with dyslexia in the workplace.

Positive Carbon – Aisling Kirwan and Mark Kirwan: Positive Carbon works with the hospitality and food service industry to reduce their impact on the environment through using its fully automated food waste monitoring technology. Over the last 12 months, Positive Carbon has commenced work with some of the largest hotels, universities, food service providers and multinationals in Ireland, preventing hundreds of kilos of food from reaching the bin, and helping customers increase their kitchen profits by 2 percent due to this reduced wastage. By the end of the year, Positive Carbon plans to be operating in 100 locations across the country, and to have removed 250,000 kilos of Co2 from the atmosphere.

Shapes of Grief – Liz Gleeson: Shapes of Grief provides comprehensive grief education and resources to individuals, mental health professionals and healthcare workers, and there are currently over 300 grief-trained professionals as a result of the programme. The programme’s accompanying podcast has been listened to over 150,000 times. Liz plans to significantly grow the numbers of people accessing this training programme in Ireland and abroad.

Commenting, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Tim Griffiths said: “Over the past nine months, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has invested in, supported and grown five promising social entrepreneur-led organisations. We are hugely inspired by what the Impact Awardees are doing to improve people’s lives across Ireland. Social entrepreneurs are integral to spotting problems that might otherwise be hidden, and creating innovative solutions. We look forward to seeing what our Impact Awardees achieve next.”

Pictured are awardees Aisling Kirwan and Mark Kirwan from Positive Carbon.