‘Business for Social Impact’ Incubator Programme 2018/19

Applications are now open for our 6-month peer-learning programme designed specifically to create and develop sustainable businesses resulting in positive social impact.

Are you passionate about solving a social issue?

Keep reading – this might be for YOU!
What is it about? Watch the video above.
Closing Date: August 15, 2018








Who should apply?

Our selection criteria is simple – we want people driven by passion, committed to doing whatever is required in pursuit of the challenge they have set themselves.

Whatever the back story you come with, our focus is on what you are now doing and where you want to go.

Are you passionate about creating real social change?

Is your business start-up driven by a strong social goal?

Is your socially focused group evolving into significant business-like activity?

Do you see an opportunity to do something meaningful but not certain how to proceed?

Are you struggling to balance the social impact that drives you with “hard business needs”?

In doing simply what matters to you, have you found yourself becoming “the leader” for others around you?

What will you get?

During the six months you will be working with a small group of fellow social entrepreneurs – you will focus on your own individual enterprise, but will be expected to contribute to the others as well.

8 Half-day Workshops

The initial part of the programme is a series of collective workshops, run on Friday afternoon/evening for 8 consecutive weeks.

One-To-One Strategy Sessions & Mentoring

Our aim within BNest is not to “show” how to build a social enterprise, but rather to be there to support you in your journey towards the destination YOU want, that is right for YOU and of YOUR choosing.

Access to Support Network

As history shows, the biggest successes come from collaboration. What makes the BNest programme strong is our ability to connect emerging social entrepreneurs with those who can help them – whether it is another social entrepreneur, a business advisor, a potential founder or a mentor.

Resilience Programme

Building a start-up can feel very isolating and it certainly requires a huge amount of resilience. We understand that and resilience workshops and one-to-one support are there for you throughout the full length of the programme.

Training Pitch

Towards the end of the programme you might be ready to pitch your project to the founders, buyers, governmet agencies etc. We will create a realistic simulation of the pitch, so you can gain important insights from the right people in a safe and supportive environment.

6-Months Nexus Innovation Centre Membership

Each participant will receive full 6-months membership of the Nexus Innovation Centre in University of Limerick, including shared hot desk facilities, conference room access and most importantly the opportunity to become part of the vibrant Nexus community.

Showcase Day

Each year in March, we celebrate the effort and progress made by our incubator programme participants, by organising a Showcase Day. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show the world (often for the first time) the positive impact you make! 

Meet Like-Minded People

If you are tired of thinking “there’s no point explaining, they won’t get it” – BNest is a place for you. You will be surrounded by people who are amazingly passionate and we’re sure they’ll get it. And they will be happy to listen, help and support you.

What we cover?

BNest Incubator Programme covers all key areas of developing a social enterprise.

There is no right way – only your way. Setting up and developing a social enterprise is always a unique journey and BNest helps those on their journey in a way that works for them – on both personal and enterprise level.

Your Commitement

There is no financial cost for the participants, but we can’t say it’s free…

We ask you to fully commit to participation.

It’s not an easy ask – if you are going to give proper time to this challenge, you have to stop doing something else. There are still seven days in a week after you embark on the programme, just like before. Your presence at the 8 workshops held on Friday afternoons/evenings is crucial.

We also ask you to:

• Willingly share with your fellow participants

• Commit to upholding the integrity of the programme to your fellow participants

• Respect all involved, as you expect others to respect you

• Enjoy and contribute as best you can

Application Process

What matters to us is your passion for making positive change.

Our application process reflects that – we ask you to fill out a short aplication form and then we will meet the applicants for an informal chat over a coffee to see if we would be a good fit for each other.


Applications closing date is Wednesday, August 15th, 2018.


Informal interviews will be held in July & August, 2018.


Decision will be announced on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018.


The programme will start on Friday, September 7th, 2018.

8 modules will be covered on 8 Friday afternoons at Nexus Innovation Centre, University of Limerick.

Second part of the programme will consist of individual work and one-to-one support.

Showcase Day will take place in March 2019 to promote the projects and celebrate the progress made.

What our past participants say?

Since BNest Incubator was launched in 2016 we had nearly 20 participants to complete the programme. They all enjoyed and certainly got something out of it.
Nurturing within BNest is to the fore.
The programme is delivered in a practical manner and allowed clarity to unfold over the course of our voyage whilst providing objectivity on each step. Michaela Donegan

Manager, Back2New

BNest gave me the confidence to plant the seeds of ODODO and see it grow over the last few months. I became deeply attuned to my vision for ODODO as the weeks progressed and the guidance, knowledge, hard questions and support throughout made all of this possible. Catherine O'Brien


I got to meet a very interesting bunch of people from different backgrounds. The mix of social innovation projects was great, and guidance excellent. Keith Enright

Founder, Limerick Autism Group

The approach was interactive and engaging with the right amount of challenges built in to allow development.

Hugely beneficial program. Elaine Murphy

Founder, Equine Learning Munster (previously Meitheal Le Capaill)

BNest Programme structure and skills in pointing us in the right direction were the most important aspects for us. Ronnie Moore

Manager, Camphill Community Carrick-on-Suir

The programme allowed each individual member, organisation and social enterprise to be different and do what was right for them. Margaret Griffin

Manager, Palls

The support and encouragement from BNest team is invaluable. Participating in this programme and collaborating with the other participants has been a very positive experience and hugely beneficial. It has been a truly enjoyable journey. Fiona Murphy

Founder, ICJDN

Life changing.

BNest helped me see what it was I really wanted to do and gave me a helping hand that I needed. Noel McCarthy

Founder, Right Steps

The variety of expertise shared and extensive support given to allow us and our charity develop and progress our aspirations has been so very beneficial both personally and from our project perspective. Evelyn Pepperrell

ADD/ADHD Midwest Support Group

It has proven to be both a creative and humorous programme journey, infused
with humanity, supportive of change and redirection, and defined by shared good will, support and the friendship of many. Phyl Guerin

Founder, Visual Limerick

BNest offered an unparalleled and authoritative form of support for the enterprise which helped me to grow what was originally an idea into a business that has the potential to make a positive difference. Jennifer Murphy


BNest is a safe and confidential environment as well as a learning centre which combined is what every person involved with a social enterprise needs. Ruth Gilhool

Founder, Ya Ya ACE

The BNest facilitators were superb, they understood that each enterprise founder has a differing set of hurdles to get over before they can realise their goals. This stands them apart from other incubator programmes that support the enterprise but not necessarily the person behind it. Aidan O'Brien

Founder, BiaBox

Taking part in the BNest 29017/18 Programme
has been an amazing experience. It has enabled me to think about what I am capable of and how I can develop my project to make a difference in the community. Vivienne O'Conor

Isidore Furniture Scheme

I have recommended BNest many times already – It has given me the answers I didn’t have before.
It has helped to clarify a lot of issues I had at the time.
I’m much clearer on where to go next – our vision is much brighter – you couldn’t buy that!

You couldn’t put a price on thee value we’ve got from BNest Programme.

I also love the fact that the BNest doors are still open for me, even after the programme has finished I can still turn to them for any advice I might need. Suzanne Roche

CEO, Gateway to Education Limerick

What I like about it, and one of the things that attracted to me to BNest in the first place is that the Social Enterprises do not work in competition, but in collaboration. That to me is a key thing. Dermot Carroll

Founder, Doonmoon Care Fram

It’s Not The Idea, It’s What You Do With It

You’ve got that far – is it safe to say you are passionate about solving a social issue?
Do have an idea? Is it more than just idea already?

If you do have a passion for changing things for better – please get in touch, by filling out our short application form. Don’t worry about it too much – it’s just the way to start the conversation and help us understand a little what are you trying to do. Once you fill out the applilcation – we will then meet over a cup of coffee to see if we’re good fit for each other.

Let’s make the real change happen.