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INSPIRE Social Enterprise Course 2023

In partnership with:
Alex Stewart, Galway Community Circus, Social Enterprise Step-Up Fund awardee 2023. Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

Rethink Ireland is offering up to 20 places on a new social enterprise course in partnership with Workplace Innovation as part of their Erasmus+ funded project.

This INSPIRE Social Enterprise Course represents an innovative approach to supporting individuals with an interest in developing their own social enterprise in Ireland. The course supports potential social innovators with developing their ideas and gives them the tools to start putting their social enterprises into action. It supports a new generation of social enterprises to deliver social impact, create jobs and tackle societal challenges.

Who is the course for?

This course will support up to 20 aspiring social innovators to develop and test their social enterprise idea and give participants the tools to later put their idea into action. The course will be aimed at:

  • Young people aged 18-35 who are not currently in employment;
  • And who have an interest in developing their own social enterprise;
  • But have not yet started;
  • And are based and looking to create impact in the Republic of Ireland.

What are the outcomes of the course?

The course will provide specialist training in ideation, business skills and social impact to achieve the following: 

  • Provide knowledge on the steps to starting a social enterprise 
  • Develop and hone your ideas in collaboration with other participants
  • Explore the tools and skills needed to manage a social enterprise 
  • Develop a lean social enterprise business canvas to take your ideas to the next level 
  • Discover how to measure, manage and analyse the social impact of your social enterprise 
  • Learn how to create a pitch that will outline your business plan and effectively communicate your ideas to potential stakeholders
  • Increase the skills and knowledge within the sector 
  • Be the basis of a network of start-up social enterprises across Ireland and Europe 

Upon completion of the course, successful participants will receive a certificate by INSPIRE and be invited to pitch at the Agora event in late September 2023. A jury of 5 experts will select 2 winners who will be offered an internship (one month or over a longer period if part-time is preferred) at Rethink Ireland or a nominated organisation within the Social Enterprise sector.   

Where and when will the course take place?

The INSPIRE course will be held online over six mornings for up to 20 participants. The first day of the course will be the 26th of July 2023 for an introductory session and will subsequently take place on the following 6 Wednesday mornings. The final event will take place in late September in person in Dublin and give you the opportunity to meet participants from other countries, a range of speakers and to present your pitch to an expert audience. 

You will also be given access to an online learning platform, where you can also connect with other aspiring social innovators across Europe and complete each module.

How can you apply for the course?

Applications for this course are now closed.

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business that works primarily to improve the lives of people. Its business is social good.

Social enterprises are organisations whose mission is to have a positive effect on society. Social Enterprises are at the heart of facing the greatest social challenges in Ireland. They are professional and experienced, and use business skills and clever thinking to bridge the gaps in our society. The money they make from their work is used to grow what they do so that they can reach all the people in society who need their help.

Social enterprises are innovating every day by inventing and developing solutions to Ireland’s most pressing social issues. They are creating meaningful jobs, tackling inequalities and supporting community development. We believe there is a need to foster and invest in these social enterprises to allow them to grow and spread their solutions throughout the country.


By applying for the INSPIRE Social Enterprise Course, you agree to the following terms and conditions.

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process. 
  • You are eligible to apply. 
  • You have the right to apply. 
  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted. 
  • Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • The Awardees must take part in publicity about the course. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of participants that are successful in their applications.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Directors may select an alternative Awardee.
  • Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.

Please contact should you require further information.