Ten emerging businesses are to receive financial and mentoring support under the 2012 Arthur Guinness Fund awards.
Unveiled at a reception in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, the businesses will receive between €50,000 and €100,000 each depending on whether they are start-up projects established in the past two years or "take-off" projects at a more advanced stage in their development.
The fund was created in 2009 as part of the Guinness 250th anniversary. It is designed to support social entrepreneurs. To date, 20 projects have collectively received €1.65m in aid along with business mentoring.
Those awarded in 2012 will receive €700,000 in funding over two years.
David Smith, Diageo Ireland country director, said: "These 10 awardees were chosen because of their outstanding potential to make a genuinely positive impact on Irish society."
2012 award winners are: (Start-up projects) Lucy Masterson, Hireland; Sonya Lennon, Dress for Success; Daithí de Buitléir, Raising and Giving; Kevin Empey, Worklink; Aviva Cohen, Neuro Hero; Alan Browne and Shirley Agnew, Restaurant 180.
(Take-off projects) Anne Bedos, Rothar; Krystian Fikert, MyMind; Monika Sapielak, Centre for Creative Practices; Mike Feerick, Ireland Reaching Out.