The YSI Den

The YSI Den
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About YSI Den

Young Social Innovators is committed to helping young people sustain innovations and to promoting social entrepreneurship. Through the YSI Den, a Social Impact Fund is made available to Actiavte and Elevate teams who successfully pitch for assistance to develop an idea, product or enterprise. To date, the YSI Den has provided over €150,000 in grant funding to support youth-led ideas for social change throughout Ireland.

In 2024 the Social Impact Fund was supported by IBM. Teams applied for funding to develop a wide range of innovative projects including:

Shortlisted applicants were invited to pitch at one of three virtual events where panels of industry professionals listened to their ideas and decided on the dissemination of the fund. These pitches took part in February 2024 and 19 projects were funded.

'The DEN is a positive space that encourages students ideas and goals and gives them confidence. The emphasis is letting the students shine and not catching them out.’ YSI Guide.


How does it work?

All YSI teams taking part in Activate and Elevate are invited to apply to the YSI Den, outlining the support they require to progress an element of their project. The various supports that can be requested include moneymeans and mentoring

Following a successful application, team representatives are invited to pitch online to a YSI Den Panel, which will decide on the allocation of the funds and support. The Panel comprises of representatives from businesses, local authorities, NGOs and community organisations. Criteria for this include the ability of the team to show development, sustainability, passion and high impact.

YSI Den 2024

Who was shortlisted for funding in 2024?

What Can Teams Ask For?

Money: Teams can request financial support that allows them to implement their ideas and plans. The average funding received is between €300-€500. Successful teams will receive 75% of allocated funds at the Den and the remaining 25% on receipt of a report detailing and evidencing the use of the fund.

Means: Teams can request specific support that allows them to progress their project. For example, teams may ask YSI to help them build a relationship or secure a venue to hold an upcoming event. Teams that have been allocated this type of support will be contacted by YSI after the Den to make arrangements. 

Mentoring: Teams can request expertise to support, sustain and develop their project. YSI will try to match teams with a relevant person or organisation who can provide this support.

The passion and professionalism of the young innovators who pitched at this Social Innovation Den is comparable with that of many of the entrepreneurs I have met over the years. It is especially inspiring in this case where the innovations being developed are improving the lives of others and focused on the betterment of society. Young Social Innovators is giving teenagers opportunities to innovate for social good from an early age.

Eamon Quinn, Businessman, Investor and YSI Den, 2019