By Cian Reinhardt, May 11, 2018
BNest, the first dedicated Social Enterprise Incubator Programme in Ireland held a free Ask&Advise evening at the Bank of Ireland Workbench space, O’Connell Street Limerick.
The Ask&Advise evening allowed organisations with an aim of making a positive social impact to share advice, tips, and useful contacts with organisations and people making a social impact in our communities.
Eamon Ryan, founder of BNest said, “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.
“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.”
Chris MM Gordon, Founder of the Irish Social Enterprise Network and Managing Partner of Collaboration Ireland was the host of the evening.
Mr Gordon said the evening is beneficial for social enterprises who often find themselves “caught between two stools,” as they are trying to make profits selling products and services but are also trying to achieve the social aspect.
BNest is an initiative created specifically to help social entrepreneurs nurture their start-ups, 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, 2018. The programme teaches emerging social entrepreneurs how to get their new organisations off to the best start by focusing on key areas related to developing their enterprises, in terms of business, social and personal aspects.
Kasia Zabinska of BNest says, “We want BNest to be the go-to place for social impact businesses and Ask&Advise events help to increase connectively amongst them and anyone willing to help, because together we can achieve so much more!” adding, “What we’re doing here, is bringing people closer together. Every question asked received great, outside-of-the-box, practical suggestions, and so many useful contacts were shared.”
While a third AskAdvise evening is being planned for the second half of the year, BNest encourages everyone interested in this space to attend their event, ‘Social Entrepreneurship – A Path For Me?” which will take place on Saturday, June 9 from 10am to 3pm at the Nexus Innovation Centre at University of Limerick. The event is a half-day interactive and practical workshop to give you insights into the reality of social impact business. It will let you explore the social enterprise space using actual stories of local businesses, non-profits, and community enterprises and help to understand a little more of the possibilities it might offer you. 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.