SEI Announces Changing Ireland Accelerator Awardees
14th June 2023
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) recently announced Helium Arts, Gorm, Her Sport and dabbledoo as its Changing Ireland Accelerator Awardees for 2023. The Changing Ireland Accelerator is a twelve-month programme for nationally scaling organisations supporting underserved and/or underrepresented communities in Ireland. It is the highest offering programme from SEI, who in 2024, will enter its 20th year supporting social entrepreneurs.
SEI chose the successful awardees from more than 70 applications, leveraging its nearly 20 years’ of experience in identifying the highest potential social entrepreneurs. The four chosen organisations demonstrated a well-proven model to tackle a major social issue affecting the people of Ireland and will benefit from the €500,000 programme to scale and grow their organisation beyond its current level. These organisations are;
Dabbledoo LTD – Founded by Shane McKenna in 2012, dabbledoo is an independent Irish company dedicated to providing primary schools with the resources, training and support to deliver high-quality and accessible arts and music education. They are a team of educators, artists, musicians and designers with a passion for arts education and its potential to enrich the lives of children. In January 2023, dabbledoo had more than 7,200 active teachers on the platform, reaching upwards of 1,200 schools and 182,000 children.
GORM DAC – Founded in 2020 by social psychologist Mamobo Ogoro, is a social enterprise on a mission to unify across social and cultural differences and advance belonging for marginalised communities. GORM helps bridge connections and conversations across communities through a unique blend of expertise in social psychology and creative media. They focus on creating innovative digital media, intercultural education and events. On average, GORM’s online platforms receive 80,000 monthly views and have grown to 7,000+ subscribers since 2020. GORM works with new and migrant communities and the LGBTQIA+ and disabled community.
Helium Arts CLG – Founded in 2010 by Helene Hugel, Helium Arts aim to reduce the social isolation of children living with long-term health conditions. They do this by developing children’s creative skills in the heart of their communities and providing them with often their only opportunities for developing social connections. This gives children a greater sense of belonging, imagination and joy. Helium Arts has 55 active, trained and vetted volunteers supporting them in community workshops, positively impacting almost 7,000 children all over Ireland.
Her Sport LTD – Co-founded by Niamh Tallon & Mohammed Mahomed in 2020, Her Sport empowers and advocates for girls and women in sport. Niamh and Mohammed are tackling gender disparity in sports by delivering educational workshops to schools, clubs and businesses discussing barriers for women in sport and how to overcome them, and by creating daily media coverage to highlight and showcase women in sports. Her Sport has successfully delivered workshops to more than 3,000 individuals in schools, clubs, universities and businesses across Ireland. They have also having built a digital community of over 140,000 people.
Commenting, Tim Griffiths, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said: “These exceptional individuals have demonstrated remarkable dedication to creating positive change within their communities and beyond. Over the next 12 months, we will harness the cumulative power of the SEI community to support Shane, Mamobo, Helene and Niamh and Mohammed to significantly grow their impact and create accelerated change.”
The Changing Ireland Accelerator will provide bespoke support to the four organisations based on their stated needs. SEI will focus on supporting them in areas such as leadership development, marketing and communications, strategic planning and how they can continue to fund their mission.
Google.org will be fully funding the costs of this programme in 2023 with a grant of €500,000. This follows as part of its European-wide pledge of €20 million cash funding through the Google.org Social Innovation Fund to support underserved social innovators across Europe. Running in parallel to the Changing Ireland Accelerator, INCO will disperse the funding as cash sub-grants administered to the participants.
Adaire Fox-Martin, head of Google Ireland and President for Google Cloud globally, congratulated the four awardees by saying: “In line with our commitment to serve our local community, Google Ireland is delighted to continue its relationship with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland by supporting the Changing Ireland Accelerator programme. I would like to congratulate Shane, Mamobo, Helene, Niamh, and Mohammed and wish them my very best as they take the next steps in their journey. This is not the last we will hear of these creative change-makers, and I look forward to watching them realise their potential and ultimately provide even greater impact in their communities”.
Hélène Baudon, Global Head of Operations of INCO, said “We are excited for INCO to be part of the supporting team of the Changing Ireland accelerator and to help the four deserving Irish organizations. As part of Google.org’s European-wide pledge of €20 million, this grant will be instrumental in supporting underserved social innovators across Ireland. We are grateful for the opportunity to play a role in making a meaningful impact on the Irish community as proximity and continued support is absolutely crucial for successful programs and the selected organizations are well-rooted in the local ecosystem.”
Pictured: Mamobo Ogoro, founder of GORM, Helene Hugel, founder of Helium Arts, Sara Dennedy, Director of Impact, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Adaire Fox-Martin, head of Google Ireland and President for Google Cloud globally, Shane McKenna, founder of dabbledoo, and Niamh Tallon & Mohammed Mahomed, co-founders of Her Sport.