By Elizabeth Lee
LEIGHLINBRIDGE social entrepreneur Kim Mackenzie-Doyle, founder of The B!G Idea, has won a place on Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s (SEI) Impact Awards accelerator programme and secured €20,000 for how her work is upending traditional schooling.
The B!G Idea is a creative education initiative programme for 15 and 16-year-olds bridging the gap between industry and education by having students work on projects solving social issues.
Kim said: “It’s exciting for The B!G Idea to be awarded a place in the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Programme, to have SEI’s recognition and to become an alumnus adds huge credibility to our organisation and opens up so many opportunities to learn and grow. It’s a B!G win for me personally and great validation for what we have achieved to date and for our future plans.
“The Irish education system focuses on rote learning and transmission of knowledge and very little on equipping students to think outside the box,” continued Kim. “At the same time, students are worried about big issues and want to connect to their communities, but aren’t sure how to. The B!G Idea gets students to work with industry experts to work on projects, centred around social issues that are directly affecting young people on a local to global scale, over a 16-week period. The B!G Idea aims to develop in-demand skills that can support students for life.”
The SEI Impact Programme identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support. Awardees receive training in areas such as fundraising, governance, leadership and storytelling. The 2022 programme attracted more than 100 applications from all corners of Ireland, with the successful applicants going through a rigorous interview process. The awardees were chosen upon showing how their programmes are shaking up the traditional ways of dealing with social issues and are providing innovative solutions.