A service focusing on suicide prevention, a bereavement support organisation and a grow your own food initiative were among 10 projects which each received €100,000.
Launched during last year’s 250th anniversary of the brewery, the Arthur Guinness Fund is investing €2.5 million over the next two years in social entrepreneur initiatives.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe, said entrepreneurs and small businesses owners were central to economic recovery.
Speaking at yesterday’s awards ceremony in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, he added: “In particular, social entrepreneurship puts communities before profit and Diageo’s awards event is a fine example of corporate social responsibility.”
The Government welcomed the brewer’s support for the development of “a new generation of creative Irish entrepreneurs whose sense of responsibility extends beyond the boardroom and into broader society”, the minister said.
Guinness worked in partnership with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, (SEI) in developing the Arthur Guinness Fund awards programme and Sean Coughlan, chief executive of SEI said: “New and innovative solutions exist to the myriad social and environmental challenges we face today. These solutions are most effective when driven by individuals who adopt a highly entrepreneurial approach to their activities.”
The fund was designed as a springboard to enable people to take their initiatives to the next level, John Kennedy, managing director of Diageo Ireland said.
“Today, we are backing people with a business head and a social heart. This is what we mean by social entrepreneurship.
“Over the past year, we have come across a host of inspirational people who are very passionate about what they do. They are resourceful, committed and have the drive, energy and ambition to help deliver transformational social change,” Mr Kennedy said.
Among the 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardees were:
* Anam Cara, bereavement support service.
* Camara, re-using technology to tackle global waste.
* Clar IRD, training people on low incomes to grow their own produce.
* Grow It Yourself, promoting and encouraging food growing skills and the sharing of knowledge.
* Kanchi, driving best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities within society.