Seán Love, pictured here with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, receives the 2011 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award

Director of Fighting Words, Seán Love, pictured here with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, receives the 2011 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award at a reception in Dublin on Wednesday, 19th October. Image by Clare Mulvany ©€ 200,000 Awarded to Each of Three 2011 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Winners
Seán Coughlan, Chief Executive of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, said that social entrepreneurs have developed solutions that tackle some of Ireland’s entrenched social problems.

Three awards were presented on 19th October at a ceremony in Dublin, one in the area of education, one in the area of sustainability and the other  to encourage greater participation of women in politics.

Fighting Words is a creative writing centre that is the brainchild of Seán Love, former director of Amnesty Ireland, and writer Roddy Doyle. It runs free creative writing and storytelling workshops for students of all ages to enhance their creative writing skills and build their confidence in writing ability and self-expression. In just over two years, with the  help of over 400 volunteers, the centre has hosted more than 26,000 students of all ages in workshops in fiction writing, film-making, song writing and graphic novels. Three anthologies of short stories have been published and many other film-making, playwriting and other projects have been realised.

GIY Ireland  - Michael Kelly is on a mission to empower people from all walks of life and of all ages to grow their own food successfully.  He set up GIY Ireland in 2009, to transform the nation's wellbeing, strengthen communities and protect the environment by helping people to grow their own. There are now approximately 12,000 ‘GIYers’ around the country who are coming together in community groups and online to learn, share and grow.
 
Women for Election  - Determined to tackle the barriers to women participating in our political system, Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating set up Women for Election, a non‐partisan organisation whose vision is of an Ireland with balanced participation of women and men in political life. Women make up 52% of Ireland’s population, but they currently make up only 15% of our elected representatives. Increasing the number of women in politics is a long-standing challenge in Ireland, as the Dáil has never been less than 85% male. Women for Election aim to have 40% female candidates by 2021, therefore enriching the diversity of voices in Irish politics.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland supports exemplary social entrepreneurs who develop innovative solutions to some of the entrenched societal issues that we face and who are passionate about making a difference.

Since launching in 2005 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported 150 social entrepreneurs, directly investing over €4M into supporting these exceptional individuals. These in turn have directly helped over 100,000 people and indirectly helped another 400,000 people.