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spark-awards-download Click here to see the Application Form and Entry Guidelines
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About the Spark Social Enterprise Awards

About the SPARK Social Enterprise Awards.

Students undertaking Social Care Practice or Youth and Community, Early Childhood Care in Education, Business Studies and Accountancy programmes, both undergraduate and post-graduate level, have the potential to be the social enterprise leaders of the future. Now in its second year, the SPARK social enterprise awards competition will facilitate, recognise and reward creative, innovative and inspirational solutions to a diverse range of social issues.

The SPARK social enterprise awards were conceived by lecturers delivering social science programmes at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology, Sligo and Institute of Technology, Tralee.

The competition will involve students studying on the above mentioned programmes working as members of inter-disciplinary teams composed of four members, preferably one from each of the four programmes mentioned above. If it is not logistically possible to compose teams inter-disciplinarily, then teams composed of programme specific members i.e. students studying on the same programme, not exceeding four members, will be accepted. Broadly, the competition seeks to encourage students to think about social issues that require innovative, imaginative, and creative solutions that will improve the lives of people and enhance communities. The competition is intended to create and facilitate spaces for students to imagine, think, apply and act as social entrepreneurs. The SPARK national social enterprise awards represent a valuable learning experience for all participants and could quite possibly result in a society changing innovation: make it happen!

Benefiting enormously from sponsorship provided by The Irish Association of Social Care Educators and the Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship initiative in 2014, this year’s competition is exclusively and generously sponsored by Certified Public Accounts Ireland (CPAI). Cash prizes are available to winners at regional and national levels. Both SPARK and CPAI are committed to the key objectives of the competition namely to create and support the next generation of social enterprise leader and innovators.

Through participation in this experiential learning experience, students will develop team work, critical thinking, and effective communication and leadership skills, all directly relevant to their future employability.