Belfast Telegraph

Deadline looms for €100,000 Guinness fund applications

There is only one week left for social entrepreneurs from across Northern Ireland and the Republic to apply for up to €100,000 from The Arthur Guinness Fund.



Open to both individuals and organisations, The fund supports the work of projects, to the value of €1million, which deliver positive and sustainable change in local communities. Earlier this year the fund awarded €100,000 to each of ten social enterprise projects in the first phase of the programme.



As part of this second phase up to a further €1 million of funding will be available for individuals and projects who are successful. In order to make the application process as far reaching as possible a new dimension has been added in the form of a Challenge Grant, which invites applications from start up projects seeking both financial and practical support.



Projects that have been established in the last two years are invited to apply to receive up to €25,000 per annum for two years. This grant is specifically targeted at projects that do not necessarily have a proven model yet, but can illustrate the high potential of their project. More established projects, those typically in operation for between two and five years are eligible to apply for funding of €100,000 which will be awarded over two years.



In order to encourage applications from as diverse a base as possible, another new addition is the introduction of categories, which act as guide for prospective awardees. Applicants are asked to register their project under one of six specific categories. These are Technology and Social Media for Social Good, Skills for Life, Enriching the Environment, Social and Community Regeneration, Culture and Arts and Community Wellbeing. A final open category is also available to projects that do not fit within any of the specific categories, but are still working towards sustainable social change in Ireland. The different categories will act as guidelines for people who are considering whether their project fits with The Arthur Guinness Fund. (Please note: a brief explanation of each category is outlined in the editor’s notes)



One of the most innovative aspects of The Arthur Guinness Fund is that in addition to receiving financial support, the Fund also supports a comprehensive two year support programme for the awardees including additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network and events. Applications to the Arthur Guinness Fund will remain open until Wednesday, 10th November, 2010. Those interested can download an application form from www.guinness.com/arthurguinnessfund

Belfast Telegraph

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