Bnest, Ireland’s first dedicated social enterprise incubator based at the Nexus Innovation Centre, recently held its annual programme showcase event. The Bnest Programme is specifically designed for emerging social enterprises. This is a six month peer programme, working with a small group of fellow social entrepreneurs, focused on each working on their individual enterprise but expected to contribute to the others as well.
The event gave the social enterprises the opportunity to show to the broader public the initiatives that they are developing and the work they have achieved through the programme. The diverse range of social enterprises being shown ranged from a unique Limerick autism approach to combining creative design and retail approaches with a furniture upcycling scheme and much more.
Since September 2016, BNest in collaboration with the Nexus Innovation Centre has been running a six-month programme in which emerging social enterprises learn how to get their new organisations off to the best start by focusing on key areas related to developing their enterprises, in terms of business, social and personal aspects. The participants have full access to the Nexus facilitates and work alongside the commercial enterprises located in the Centre.
Eamon Ryan who founded and self-funded BNest said: “We are the first fully fledged social incubator in Ireland, and the idea was to create a peer group which shared experiences that could help one another.
The 8 social enterprises that took part in this year’s programme include;
Limerick Autism Group provides socially inclusive activities for children with autism and their families. These are supported by local communities and businesses.
Back2New collaborates and develops creative talents and skills within unemployed individuals through re-imagining furniture, both donated and commissioned, with unusual colour combinations.
The Irish Criminal | Civil Justice and Disability Network (ICJDN) provides a national platform whereby criminal justice agencies and disability organisations can be facilitated to improve the experience of individuals with an intellectual /learning / physical disability who engage with the criminal justice system as a either a witness, victim or suspect.
Visual Limerick advances a ‘visual experience’ of Limerick’s many third level designs, innovations and outputs in a range of window locations throughout the city and county. It reflects, radiates and resonates projects that are rooted in a sense of place and speak to us and for us, affirming our core strengths in education and innovation.
ODODO alleviates the barriers to mental health care for parents and guardians of children with special needs. Online courses in contemplative practice develop habits of nourishing and stimulating new patterns of thought and behaviour. Self-care practices open one up to positive shifts in behaviour and a more positive state of mind.
BiaBox is a smart and cost-effective way of delivering locally produced fresh food straight to your door – helping build stronger community bonds between local food producers and consumers.
Isidore Furniture Scheme is a concept furniture scheme in the North Tipperary/Limerick areas with the aim of relieving poverty by reducing waste through the 3Rs, namely reduce, re-use and recycle, of essential household furniture and electrical appliances and in tandem help people in need.
A community tourism enterprise in the village of Castleconnell, Co. Limerick that supports sustainable local development by providing employment opportunities, creating a sense of pride in the village and supporting the development of local amenities that benefit both – visitors to the village and the people that live there
For more information on the BNest programme check out the website http://bnest.ie/