This February 2015 Wave Change and The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Ireland will be running a seed fund competition for Wave Changers and SSE Ireland graduates under 30 years on January 1st 2015. To date, €27,500 has been made available to initiatives as wide ranging as Aoife Price’s ground-breaking Sparks book which provides hope to young people experiencing difficult times in their lives, to Rian Coulter’s “God be With the Days” in M.Mullins Butcher Shop in Kilkenny: an exhibition promoting the work of visual artists and advocating independent businesses in Ireland.

This year thanks to The Atlantic Philanthropies and NUI Galway, an additional €29,000 has been made available to the fund. This will be allocated in the form of two award schemes which look to provide additional funding for both Wave Changers and SSE Ireland alumni and their ventures and initiatives. Awards for this final round will take the form of four investments of €5,000 and six smaller investments of €1,500.


Applications are via the online forms below.


Successful candidates will be invited to pitch their proposal to a judging panel on Thursday March 12th 2015 and winners will be announced shortly after. Investments will be made based on the panel’s evaluation of the proposal put forward in the application form, the applicant’s presentation of that proposal in “pitch” format and their responses to questions posed by the panel.


A Few Things to Note…..


  • You can only apply for one award – €1500 or €5,000. Please choose wisely!
  • Joint submissions will be accepted (max 2 applicants)


We will accept joint submissions and if successful these can be pitched on a partnership basis (partnerships must be made together with fellow Wave Changers or eligible SSE Fellows). Applicants may only submit either an individual or a joint application.


Scheme 1 –  Start Up Award (€1,500)


Support for your venture OR to Develop your own social change skills or leadership


  • Support for your venture

This award recognises that some applicants are still in the early stages of developing their venture and often times it is smaller amounts of cash that go a long way in helping create impact and delivering promise for future development. Below is a list of potential areas;


→ A specific event, activity or workshop that is happening in the next 9 months (April-December) and related expenses. We realise that events are scheduled forward in time, however if you are postponing work for your project forward more than 3 months, you need to be specific about why that’s the case. If you have a question surrounding this point, please feel free to get in touch,

→ A professional service that you need to pay someone for to ensure a high quality of work (website, graphic design, tech support etc.) Brian Devaney used his Seed Fund Award to pay for the legal costs of setting up his Branching Out organisation.

→ Skills development (for you) directly related to your project e.g. communications, financial, technical skills

→  Hardware or equipment which are key to the successful development and delivery of your project/programme. Avril Clarke purchased a camera to make videos for her food blog.

→ Basic expenses related to your project – travel etc. Basic expenses should only account for a small percentage of your fund and not more than 15%.


Click here to see a version of the application form to prepare your answers


  • Develop your own social change skills or leadership

Is there a course, a programme, a conference or event which you believe will significantly contribute towards the development of your own social change leadership? This award may also be used to fund something in this area. You must provide precise details of your proposed activity and why this will be relevant for you.  Some potential examples (from previous Seed Fund rounds);

→ Formal educational/training purposes or for personal development or indeed, both. You should be able to link the course of study or development directly to social change/social change leadership overall or your project directly. These courses may include:

  • Management or leadership development programme. Jean Sutton took part in a features writing course at the Dublin Writers Museum.
  • Participation at a key event/conference for your area of interest/expertise. Kate O’Brien attended the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Annual Conference in 2013.
  • Other things we haven’t thought of yet.

Click here to access the online application form. Please note that this is a survey monkey and you will need to have all answers prepared to type in.



Scheme 2 – Take Off Award (€5,000)

This award recognises entrepreneurs who have shown significant success in their venture so far and are now looking for investment which can ensure enhanced delivery and impact.

We are open to how you plan to use this but it should be to build on a pilot or activity or initiative which has already had impact.

It is important to note that these larger awards will demand a greater level of detail in the application process. You will need to send a detailed plan of activities as per the application form. This must be shared with at the same time that your online form is completed or your application will not be considered as complete.


Click here to see a version of the application form to prepare your answers.

Click here to access the online application form. Please note that this is a survey monkey and you will need to have all answers prepared to type in.


The February 2015 Application Process

The closing date for receipt of applications is STRICTLY 5pm on Friday 20th of February. A pitching workshop has been scheduled for successful applicants for Wednesday March 4th from 6-8pm in The Fumbally Exchange, Dublin 2 (applicants may also join virtually). Successful applicants will be invited to pitch to a panel of and answer questions on their application and pitch on Thursday 12th of March between 9.30am and 1pm and 2pm to 5.30pm. Please note that you must be there in person to pitch.


Award decisions will be made on  the day and recipients informed very soon after.