Social Enterprise of the Year Award 2021

The Social Enterprise of the Year Award recognises organisations that go above and beyond to embed positive values into their business operations.

The winning entry will receive a €1,000 prize.

Congratulations to the winner of the 2021 Social Enterprise of the Year Award!

My Mind
(Social Enterprise of the Year)

Our 2021 shortlistees were:

  • MyMind
  • Spraoi agus Spórt
  • The Open Doors Initiative
  • Proudly Made in Africa
  • LIFT Ireland

Social enterprises are organisations that engage in trading activity as a way to achieve their social mission, or to generate a contribution to the cost of delivering their mission.

The Social Enterprise of the Year awards celebrates the work of social enterprises that have successfully brought about positive change.

The winning entry will receive a €1,000 prize. (All cash prizes will be distributed to organisations, rather than individuals.)

There are two parts to your application:

A. A short video

B. A written application

A. Video

All entries in this category must be accompanied by a short video. The video is your chance to share your social enterprise’s vision for the future, and should explain how your work makes an impact.

Your video should include the following line: “In the last year, we have…” (e.g. “In the last year, we have provided homes for 750 rescue dogs.”)

Please do not include any music over this line — you are welcome to include it later in the video. You may submit a video without this line in it, but additional marks will be awarded to those that do.

The video must not be more than 90 seconds long. You will need to upload it publicly on YouTube so that you can post the link into the online application form.

We know that COVID-19 restrictions continue to make it harder than usual to create a video. We encourage creative storytelling in this respect — and part of the judging criteria will include assessment of your video’s inspirational qualities. Could you use drawings to create a video? A slideshow of photos? Older footage with a new voiceover? Testimonials recorded on people’s phones? Even talking head videos can be engaging when you tell the right story.

B. Written Application

This is your chance to tell us about your social enterprise’s impact so far.

The term “impact” simply means making a positive difference in people’s lives. It can be something tangible like a much-needed community amenity or service, or something intangible like increased confidence or a sense of community pride.

Remember: keep your answers relevant, concise, and clear. Think about the audience when you write and use plain English. We want to hear about the human impact of your work, along with facts and figures in support of your success. Make sure to stay within the character count for each question.


  1. Tell us about the issue(s) this social enterprise is tackling and why it’s important
    Why was the social enterprise set up? What is it trying to change or do? Why is it important to do this?  (character limit: 800)
  2. How does the social enterprise go about tackling these issues?
    Explain your social enterprise ‘s approach to solving the issues you identified in your previous answer.  If it has had to alter its activities in response to COVID-19, how did it do this? (character limit: 800)
  3. Tell us about a case where the social enterprise has made a positive difference. This is your chance to talk about impact in qualitative terms. Provide a case study to illustrate the impact of the social enterprise’s work. We will accept anonymous case studies if you need to protect the identity of a service user or individuals under 18 years of age. You can include a quote or endorsement if you wish. (character limit: 1000)
  4. What has the overall impact of this work been and how do you measure it?How would you describe the overall impact of your organisation’s work? What measures do you use to know if you have been successful at achieving your goals? How do you know what to improve or change in your work? Please include as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your impact.  (character limit: 1200)
  5. What is your social enterprise’s approach to earning income?
    How does your social enterprise earn income? What have you done to maximise the contribution that earned income can make towards the cost of your service? How does this approach differentiate your work from other approaches?(character limit: 800)
  6. How does your organisation grow its customer base?
    Describe the marketing and sales techniques and strategies you put in place to attract and retain customers to purchase goods or services from your organisation.(character limit: 800)
  7. How can the public support your work?
    Do you need volunteers? Do you fundraise? Can the public share your story? Give them a call to action. (character limit: 800)
  8. Describe how your social enterprise is transparent and accountable.
    For example, do you publish your annual accounts online?  Are you compliant with any codes or stadards? (character limit: 800)

Need help?

Please direct any questions about your nomination to