Social Innovation Den

Social Innovation Den
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About the Social Innovation Den

Young Social Innovators is committed to helping young people sustain innovations and to promoting social entrepreneurship. Through the YSI Den, a Social Innovation Fund is made available to YSI 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.

Highlights from the YSI Den 2019

How does it work?

All YSI teams at Senior Cycle 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 money, means and mentoring. 

Following a successful application, a maximum of three team representatives are invited to pitch to a YSI Den Panel who will decide on the allocation of the funds and supports. The Panel comprises representatives from business, local authorities, NGO and community organisations. Criteria for this include the ability of the team to show development, sustainability, passion and high impact.

YSI Den 2021

Who pitched at this year's Den and what supports did they receive?

What Can Team's 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 a 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 Dublin Den Panel Dragon, 2019