FINAL call out for innovative and creative thinkers who want to tackle social or environmental challenges in local communities in Wicklow

Champion changemaker
  • Community Enterprise Association Ireland’s network of 270+ enterprise centres and hubs is hosting a series of regional ‘Dragon’s Den’ type events over the weekend of September 23rd in search of ‘Champion Changemakers’ with a passion for creating positive change – no idea or experience necessary to take part!

  • Funding for the ’Champion Changemakers’ initiative secured from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the ARISE (Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprise) Scheme 2021

  • Deadline for individuals or groups to sign up to participate is midnight on September 21st

Do you want to be part of a group of like-minded individuals tackling social or environmental challenges in Ireland? Maybe you’ve had a brainwave that could really solve a social problem such as Food Waste, Fast Fashion, Climate Change, Education, Housing or Mental Health – but you’re unsure what to do next?

If so, now is your chance – but you have to act quickly as the deadline is fast approaching for the upcoming ‘Champion Changemakers’ Weekends, hosted by the Community Enterprise Association Ireland. Visit the CEAI website before midnight on September 21st 2022 to get involved as a participant, sponsor or a volunteer – all that’s required is a passion for positive change!

Entitled Champion Changemakers, the ambition is to find solutions which will directly impact the lives of people in local communities around Ireland and promote the role of social enterprise in local communities.  Individuals will not need to have any experience of business or social enterprise, just a passion to make a real difference in their own communities and beyond. Ideas will be judged under one of the following three categories:

  • Environment and Climate Action
  • Economic Inequality
  • Human Wellbeing

Examples of successful social enterprises already in Ireland addressing issues such as food poverty, social housing or environmental matters include Thriftify, Food Cloud, Reuzi, Clár ICH and Too Good To Go.


Visit Community Enterprise Association Ireland’s website here by midnight on September 21st, to find out where your local weekend is being hosted and details on how to sign-up. Anybody interested will be given the opportunity to work with local experienced mentors including:

These mentors will help you to develop your idea and prepare you to pitch it to the panel of experts in Meath Enterprise on the weekend of September 23rd 2022. These experts include:

Finalists will be identified from each region and those shortlisted will participate in the national event on October 20th 2022.  The overall winning individual or group will receive a prize bursary with an estimated value of €10,000 which will set them on their founder journey towards the establishment of a sustainable, successful and impact driven social enterprise. The bursary features a range of key services and supports including legal advice, financial services, mentoring, training and learning supports.

Regional Hubs

Meath Enterprise – located in Navan, Meath, is inviting applicants from Wicklow along with the entire Leinster region and the midlands

Other participating Hubs include:

  • Creative Spark – located in Dundalk, Louth, this hub is inviting applicants from the North East
  • Action Tuam – located in Tuam, Galway, this hub is inviting applicants from the wider Connacht region and along the North and mid-West
  • RDI Hub + Dingle Creativity Hub – partnering to host applicants from the South and South West

Champion Changemakers will contribute to Ireland’s progress in overcoming challenges facing communities nationwide including youth unemployment, poverty, social injustice and the climates crisis, which will in turn help mobilise efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.

Gary O’ Meara, Chair of CEAI, CEO of Meath Enterprise said:

“The development of socially conscious and commercially focused not-for-profit enterprises has the potential to revolutionise how we tackle societal and environmental challenges in a more inclusive and sustainable way and Meath Enterprise is excited to work with CEAI to support the ideas and ambitions of social innovators and entrepreneurs so that they can develop financially viable and impactful social enterprises and become ‘Champion Changemakers’ in their communities and regions.”

Siobhan Finn, Hub Network Manager at Community Enterprise Association Ireland, said:

“Social enterprises are key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, delivering products and services primarily to improve the lives of people in communities around Ireland. The aim of this initiative is to empower, educate and inspire individuals to create concepts which can be turned into tangible products or services which could potentially solve large scale societal problems. Another key objective is to equip people with the skillset to start their social enterprises from scratch – including idea generation, how to market test and how to create impact for communities. The CEAI is grateful to receive this funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the 2021 Arise Scheme enabling us to run this initiative. We are looking forward to seeing the innovation and talent of local changemakers representative of diverse community groups around the country come together to present their solutions for environmental, societal, or public realm challenges in their local communities.”

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