Roscommon native Mark Kirwan and partner Aisling Kirwan, co-founders of Positive Carbon, have won a place on Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Impact Awards programme and secured €20,000 in unrestricted funding for their organisation. Positive Carbon provides commercial kitchens with food waste monitoring technology to allow them to reduce their food waste, save thousands on food bills, and reach their sustainability goals.
The SEI Impact Programme is a nine-month accelerator programme that identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support. Impact awardees receive training in areas such as fundraising, governance, leadership, and storytelling. The 2021 programme attracted more than 110 applications from all corners of Ireland, with Positive Carbon being one of the five organisations to successfully pitch for a place and secure an equal share of the €100,000 funding available.
In Ireland, an estimated one million tonnes of food goes to waste each year. The food service sector is responsible for approximately 250,000 tonnes of food waste, costing €300 million to the industry per annum and resulting in 875,000 tonnes of CO2. Positive Carbon’s product is a fully-automated waste monitoring system that tracks and logs all of a business’s food waste using AI and specialised tech to give staff full understanding of what, and how much, they are throwing away.
Speaking about the SEI Impact Award win, Mr. Kirwan said: “Positive Carbon is excited to be part of an ever-growing community of social entrepreneurs working towards fighting social problems in Ireland and abroad”.
Commenting, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Tim Griffiths said: “As we continue to live through these extraordinary and challenging times, it is truly heartening to see so many people stepping up and sharing their ideas to tackle social problems. I’d like to thank everyone who applied to the SEI this year and extend my congratulations to Positive Carbon and all our incredible Impact Awardees who are already making such a difference across Ireland”.
Since its foundation in 2004, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported more than 400 social entrepreneurs across the country to move from idea to action and develop solutions that are transforming Ireland’s approach social problems. Alumni of SEI include AsIAm, FoodCloud, Grow Remote, JumpAgrade, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance and The Shona Project.
For more information on this year’s Impact Awardees and the work of SEI, visit socialentrepreneurs.ie.