Making an impact on the future for Social Enterprises

There is a greater need now, more than ever, for a stronger support system for social entrepreneurs in Ireland, with more understanding of the concept and the reality of social entrepreneurship. With this in mind, Social Impact Ireland was officially launched at ‘Business… But Better’, their virtual conference addressing the Future for Social Enterprises on Friday, 30th October. 


Social Impact Ireland (formerly the Irish Social Business Campus) is the result of founders Pauline Gannon and Eamon Ryan collaborating and working together with its partner organisations, Nexus Innovation Centre, Kemmy Business School the University of Limerick, Ludgate Innovation Hub Skibbereen and Development Company partnerships NEWKD, SECAD, CLDC, with a common goal of building a positive and impactful future for all social enterprises nationally.


Speaking at the Conference, Pauline Gannon, Director of Impact and one of the founders of Social Impact Ireland said “Collaboration is the heart of what Social Impact Ireland is all about, working with organisations to support our social entrepreneurs at every stage of their business development. Social entrepreneurship generates social impact and not only helps to boost a country’s economy, but it also boosts its social fabric. During these turbulent times, it is now more important than ever to support and strengthen our social enterprises. If we work together, connect and support each other, we can build a social economy that benefits us all.”


The conference saw Social Impact Ireland bring together key stakeholders and over 100 social entrepreneurs to connect and hear from thought leaders on key topics relevant to the development of social entrepreneurship in Ireland. Some of Ireland’s brightest Social Entrepreneurs, Jessica Bonenfant, Greywood Arts; Fiona Murphy, Irish Criminal Justice & Disability Network; and Alphonse Basogomba, Buheri Consult, participated in a panel discussion which looked at the challenges of delivering social impact in Ireland.


The event, hosted by Sonya Lennon, also featured keynote addresses from Andrew Forde, Principal Officer/ Head of Rural Strategy & Social Enterprise Unit, and Dr Briga Hayes, Head of Department, Management and Marketing at Kemmy Business School, on supporting Social Enterprise for the future; as well as a second-panel discussion featuring Prof. Kerstin Mey, President of UL, Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, Liam O’Brien, Director of Strategy & External Affairs Vodafone, and Dr. Sarah Miller, CEO Rediscovery Centre; while the founders of Social Impact Ireland also addressed attendees.


Eamon Ryan, founder and CEO of Social Impact Ireland addressed the attendees and stated “These are extraordinary times that we are living in, COVID-19 has greatly impacted us all, it has driven damage to our economy and our communities, but these times will eventually pass and we will all be tasked with the job of rebuilding our society. Above all, we must always remember that no matter what we think we do in terms of social enterprises, impact only occurs when people take the lead and develop social enterprises to create a positive impact in their communities and it is our job and our passion to support them and their needs.”


To learn more about Social Impact Ireland and the supports available to Social Enterprises, please visit

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