The best way to learn the value to Ireland of social enterprises is to hear about it from the horse’s mouth, as heard at the country’s first government-organised national conference about social enterprise.

Watch the above video and I promise you’ll be truly amazed. Today (21 November), the founders of one of Ireland’s brightest new companies wowed all 180 people present in Croke Park for the ROI’s first National Social Enterprise Conference.

JumpAGrade, founded by David Neville and Pádraic Hogan from Limerick, is award-winning for providing an online alternative to grinds that is already trusted by thousands of second-level students and their parents across Ireland.

It can reach people not normally able to avail of grinds. As David demonstrates, from a social inclusion viewpoint, it is giving people in rural, isolated and urban marginalised communities the opportunity to get the tutoring support they need to succeed.

The conference David spoke at was organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development. It was opened by Minister Michael Ring who congratulated David and others for their initiative. The conference – to become an annual event – follows the launch earlier this year of Ireland’s first national social enterprise policy.

Chris Gordon from the Irish Social Enterprise Network, Maggie Clune, social enterprise manager with Pace, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, and Grow It Yourself founder Mick Kelly at the country’s first annual social enterprise conference. It was held in Croke Park.

Social Enterprises are businesses whose core objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact. Like other businesses, social enterprises trade in goods or services on an ongoing basis. However, any surpluses they generate are re-invested into achieving a social impact.