Call for applications for the Arthur Guinness Fund 2012

The Arthur Guinness Fund will re-open for applications today, Tuesday, 1st November!

To date €1.65 million has been awarded to a wide range of social entrepreneurial initiatives that are committed to making a positive and sustainable impact on communities all over Ireland.  Successful projects in the current process will be eligible to receive between €50,000 and €100,000 each.

Established as part of the Guinness 250th celebrations, The Arthur Guinness Fund is an innovative investment programme which honours the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness by supporting the vision and the enterprising spirit of social entrepreneurs in Ireland.  Earlier this year as part of The Arthur’s Day celebrations, Guinness committed to adding a further €500,000 to The Arthur Guinness Fund. 

To make the Arthur Guinness Fund accessible to as wide a range of projects and initiatives as possible, applications are sought under two main categories.  Firstly, established projects (termed as take-off projects) who have a proven working model in operation for between two to five years and can demonstrate the long term impact they are having in their community, are eligible to receive financial support up to €100,000. This funding will be provided over two years along with a comprehensive business mentoring programme with a view to taking their work to the next level. This includes additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland through workshops, seminars and training.

Projects that have been established in the last two years (termed as start up projects) are also invited to apply to receive up to €50,000 in funding plus the professional mentoring support over two years.  This award is specifically aimed at start up projects that require a springboard to help turn their vision into a reality. 

Since its inception, €1.65 million of funding as well as professional business support has been provided to 20 Irish social entrepreneurs (Please note: an outline of each project is included in the editor’s notes).  Work by the most recent Arthur Guinness Fund awardees focuses on a broad range of areas including creating employment opportunities for the disabled, returning former-prisoners to work, shaping the right environment for men to re-build their self-esteem during unemployment and much more.

Peter O’Brien, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Western Europe said, ‘By supporting innovative and inspiring projects, the Arthur Guinness Fund is providing a much needed spark to bring about long lasting positive change in our society. As we now enter the third year it is really exciting to be able to see and be inspired by the tangible results of The Arthur Guinness Fund, especially with the projects which are now entering their second year of the programme.’

‘We recognise how difficult it can be for projects like these to secure funding and professional business mentoring .Guinness is delighted to be able to support them both financially and through our bespoke support and mentoring programme in order to further the work they do in their communities’, he continued.

Awardees also benefit from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network and events.  Applications to the Arthur Guinness Fund remain open until 5pm Wednesday, 30th November 2011.  Those interested in applying can download an application form from

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