Individuals and teams from around the country headed to the Champion ChangemakersTM PitchFest on October 20th last where they pitched their social enterprise ideas to a panel of expert judges to win a Prize Bursary of supports and services valued at €10,000.

Ideas were selected under three different headings including 1. Environment and Climate Action 2. Economic Inequality 3. Human Wellbeing.

Shamrock Squad Adventures from RDI Hub and Dingle Hub in Kerry were announced as the outright winner securing a Prize Bursary of Supports with an estimated value of €10,000 to set them on their founder journey towards the establishment of a sustainable, successful and impact-driven social enterprise.

Shamrock Squad Adventures is a community of special needs families working with support agencies, service providers and other special needs families to make the outdoors accessible for all needs.

United Women from Action Tuam were called out as Highly Commended by the judges.  United Women is a group of Refugee and Migrant women living in direct provision in Galway who have come together to support each other and their community. Their ambition is to form a social enterprise using food to integrate communities, promote cultural identity, teach life skills, educate others on their traditions and create employment. Other ideas presented to the judges featured a new eco concrete solution, a digital support platform for new parents from minority groups, social integration through music and an online marketplace connecting lift-seekers with vehicle owners.


At CEAI, we are committed to supporting our members engage with their local communities.

Champion ChangemakersTM is an ARISE-funded initiative of the Community Enterprise Assocation Ireland.  This initiative – in partnership with member locations – focuses on supporting communities, special interest groups and individuals identify solutions which will potentially solve every-day societal or economic challenges in communities across Ireland.

Then, taking these solutions, the purpose of the Champion ChangemakersTM initiative is to transform that solution into a business model that offers commercial sustainability … in other words a Social Enterprise.

#ARISE: Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprise

Developing and promoting a wide understanding of social enterprise is a key priority of the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022.

The Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) has developed an Awareness Strategy for social enterprise in Ireland which it is delivering in partnership with a number of social enterprise stakeholders including CEAI.

The main aims of this Awareness Strategy are to:

  1. Provide a common approach to the communications and language around social enterprise
  2. Foster a common understanding of the value of social enterprise
  3. Collectively empower social enterprises to have a voice and a role in raising awareness.

In 2021, DRCD launched the Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprise (ARISE) to provide funding to social enterprises and their support and network organisations to carry out awareness raising initiatives that will increase awareness of social enterprises and their potential, in line with the Department’s Awareness Raising Strategy. Funding for this scheme is provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Champion ChangemakersTM initiative is approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund. The funding allocated is part of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2021 and is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with Pobal.

Champion ChangemakersTM 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.