by Suzanne Roche, founder of Limerick Gateway to Education

Rewarding and challenging

My journey regarding setting up within the charity sector as a social entrepreneur has been rewarding and challenging.

Back in 2012 it was very much an all systems go for social enterprise, your idea was deemed as a quality service,a pat on the back, saying all the right things, but no support what so ever. I had a mentor that disappeared once the programme for social innovation was identified; he was gone once, he had two meetings with me.

Very much a lonesome journey

It is very much a lonesome journey, were you are left either to sink or swim. Regardless of how many lives you touch or make a difference too, it is not recognised. I can see now why people stay clear of social enterprise; it is not for the faint hearted.
IF it did have a structure in place, to nurture the sustainability of the proven project . only then could you see an open door approach to possibly a third area of employment that hasn’t been investigated or valued in society. It would shorten the numbers on the live register. It would allow people to have a healthier option than sitting at home , twiddling their thumbs.

What keeps the focus ahead

Coming into the fifth year and even now you are constantly meeting obstacles along the way, you don’t know from year to year what the future will hold, Passion and proven results of those that still use and need the service is what keeps the focus ahead.

It seems there is even less help for smaller enterprises, until I came on the BNest programme. You feel they know exactly where we are coming from and are readily available to offer advice and assistance to overcome the storms to get to clear waters.

The above is a true reflection that hopefully whoever will take the view that we all deserve a hand when your own time and energy are been used for something so worthwhile.