by Richard Lynch
The Leader, Wednesday 16 May 2018

BNEST, the first dedicated Social Enterprise Incubator Programme in Ireland recently held a free and informal Ask & Advise evening at Bank of Ireland’s Workbench, to share advice, tips, and useful contacts with organisations and people making a social impact in our communities.

Chris MM Gordon, Founder of the Irish Social Enterprise Network was the host of the evening.

“Our idea was simple – gather together in one room those who work on making a positive social impact and anyone willing to help them and give them advice,” says Eamon Ryan, founder of BNest.“Events like Ask &Advise shows the power of people’s minds when they let themselves loose and share problems with other like-minded people. There is nothing more powerful,” he adds.

Kasia Zabinska of BNest explained: “What we’re doing is bringing people closer together. Every question asked received great, outside-of-the-box, practical suggestions, and so many useful contacts were shared.”

Representatives from various Limerick organisations attended including Ursula McKenzie of EmployAbility Limerick, David Neville from Jumpagrade, Katrina Morgan from the Children’s Grief Centre, Bernadette Kenny, CEO of Blue Box Creative Learning Centre, Linda Ledger from St. Munchin’s Community Centre, Kevin Clancy from Clares Wish Foundation and Brendan Ring of Cliona’s Foundation. Aidan O’Brien from BiaBox, a fresh-food delivery service was planning to employ a total of 15 people from butchers to delivery drivers in the coming year and asked advice on how to source the best possible candidates locally.

BNest is an initiative created specifically to support social entrepreneurs nurture their start-ups and caters to all types of organisations from charities to businesses with a social conscience. It aims to bridge the gap between
achieving social impact and running a business, while also supporting its participants on their personal journeys.
Applications for the 2018/2019 BNest annual six-month programme will open July 1.

The next BNest event,’Social Entrepreneurship – A Path For Me?” will take place on Saturday, June 9 from 10am to 3pm at the Nexus Innovation Centre, UL. The event is a half-day interactive and practical workshop to give you insights into the reality of social impact business.

While the workshop is free, they are asking all participants to contribute €25 towards a local charity, Milford Hospice. For more info contact Kasia@ Bnest. ie.