Young Social Innovators and Ulster Bank have announced a new partnership at an event in Dublin. Over 150 people gathered to hear from speakers including An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD who spoke about the important role that social innovation has to play in developing an economically stronger I. The event was emceed by Diana Bunici, TV presenter and author.
Through the new relationship, Ulster Bank will provide financial support to YSI and its participants, ensuring that social innovation in Ireland continues to be fostered from a young age. A record breaking 444 innovation projects have been entered into this year’s Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards by over 6,500 students nationwide, an increase of 8% from 2015. Across its programmes, YSI is currently accessed by approximately one in ten students throughout Ireland whilst it works to grow its interest and activities in Northern Ireland, Canada and Zambia.
An example of social entrepreneur
Ulster Bank is also committed to providing participants with access to support for their projects, many of which have the potential to be developed into a social enterprise and sustainable business. One such example, Greener Globe, was conceived by a team of students from Tullamore College in Co. Offaly including Jack Dooley who was speaking at today’s event. They patented their energy free Aquacica showerhead which uses a traffic light system to encourage users to reduce the length of time they spend in the shower, from an average of eleven minutes to seven minutes, therefore leading to reductions in water use and energy costs.