CHARITY: KBC Bank offering free funding to social innovators in Cork

12 May 2017
By TomO’Sullivan
tom@TheCork.ie

KBC Bank Ireland today announced that as part of KBC Bright Ideas it has doubled its support fund to €200,000 and launched a new scheme for Ireland’s leading social innovators and entrepreneurs.

KBC’s Business Bright Ideas will assist for-profit organisations in the business of having a positive impact on a city or community by addressing a particular social need.

Following a judging process a top award of €50,000 will be granted to the winning applicant who can show how the funding will help have a positive impact on communities. A total of €100,000 will be shared among the top entrants.

Meanwhile KBC’s Bright Ideas community support initiative returns for a fourth year to support individuals and organisations which are transforming and improving the lives of others in their locality. KBC is calling on community groups across the country to apply for financial support for their dream projects from a second fund of €100,000.

Last year, five projects in the Cork region were among a total of more than 50 projects from around the country selected by KBC Bank to receive funding;

  • An Balla Beo living wall project from Gael Taca in Cork city received €1,000 towards paint supplies.
  • The Macroom Good Lives Project from Macroom Food Festival and Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services in Macroom, Co. Cork received €1,000 funding towards the purchase of seeds and plants.
  • Headway & Farranlee Community Nursing Unit received €1,500 towards purchasing materials for the Headway Men’s Shed project on Carrigrohane Road, Cork.
  • The Mallow Musical Sensory Garden Project received €2,500 funding to create a musical sensory garden in a patch of unused space at Mallow Community Childcare in Ballyellis, Mallow, Co. Cork.
  • The Green Schools programme at Derrinagree National School, Flintfield, Millstreet, Co. Cork received €300 funding.

KBC Hub Manager Lapps Quay Cork, Sean Michael Collins, said KBC had doubled its funding and expanded its remit to support entrepreneurs and small businesses with a social conscience.

“Bright Ideas has been so successful over the last three years that over 100 charities and community groups have been able to improve their locality or help others from our fund. This year we wanted to expand the fund, and the type of people and groups who would benefit from it, so we’ve opened it up to entrepreneurs who have a business that will benefit people and society and have the ambition to grow it for the common good.

“Our team of Business Bright Ideas judges are particularly eager to hear from social enterprises, for- profit organisations that have the potential to positively impact a city or community by addressing a particular social or community need.

“With KBC committing to its long term future in Ireland, we are committed to supporting the micro-SME sector and the communities in which we work.”

Business Bright Ideas

Business Bright Ideas will be open to any for-profit business with an innovative idea which demonstrates that it can address a social need and facilitate change. Applicants must also be a viable business and provide supporting accounts to show it is up and running.

Eligible projects must be based in the Republic of Ireland and benefit people in the Republic of Ireland, by offering a solution to a community or social issue in Ireland. Ideas can be based on any theme such as the arts, elderly, sports, children and environment – but must be considered a social enterprise.

Projects that will not be accepted include research projects, party political projects, and those that do not benefit people or the environment.

Applications will be reviewed on a national basis and the judging panel will include KBC Director of Products Darragh Lennon.

Bright Ideas

The Bright Ideas initiative has awarded over a quarter of a million in funding provided to 120 community projects to date, with a record 400 entries in 2016.

This year the initiative will be promoted across seven different geographic regions that correspond with KBC’s hub network: Dublin City (Grand Canal, Baggot Street, College Green, Dundrum, Swords, Stillorgan), Cork (Lapp’s Quay, Wilton), Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford and the wider Leinster area (Maynooth, Naas and Greystones).

Applications will be judged regionally and the top projects from the regions will be nominated for the national award, with the overall winner securing an additional €5,000 following a public vote.

A ‘Green’ category will also be held again this year to recognise the importance of environmentally friendly projects in communities nationwide. A dedicated prize of €2,500 will be given to the overall winner of this category, on top of their original prize.

Last year’s national winner, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue Service, secured a total of €10,000 from KBC’s Bright Ideas in 2016. The charity was formed by brothers Declan and Darryl Barry in 2010 and since then has saved the lives of more than 100 people who have entered or tried to enter the River Suir with the intention of taking their own lives. Watch their story here

Darryl said the funding went towards the purchase of a new premises on the bank of the River Suir in Waterford city which the team will use to house life-saving equipment, training, and as a base for families and volunteers during search and rescue operations.

“We wouldn’t have been able to buy the building without the funding from KBC Bright Ideas. It has made a massive difference to us and to all the organisations down here who were awarded money. We would definitely recommend people to apply to the fund. The process was easy and any queries we had were answered by the staff in KBC’s Waterford Hub.”

Applications for both Bright Ideas and Business Bright Ideas funding can be submitted through the bank’s easy to use online application portal atwww.kbcbrightideas.com.

Applications for 2017 open on 19th April 2017. The closing date for applications is 31st May 2017.

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