The Arthur Guinness Fund FAQ: questions and answers 2011-2012

1. What are the eligibility criteria ?

To apply for an Award from the Arthur Guinness Fund you must meet the eligibility criteria.

2. How do I apply to the fund ?

If you are eligible to apply, you can submit your application using the online application form.

3. Can I fill in the form online ?

Yes, the form must be submitted using the online form. However, we strongly recommend that you first download the application form and prepare your answers offline. Once you have fully prepared your answers you can then enter them into the online form.

4. Is there an age limit for applicants for the fund ?

You must be 18 years or over at the time of submitting your application. There is no upper age limit.

5. What is the closing date for applications ?

The application process closes on Wednesday 30th November 2011 at 5pm.

6. Can I enter if I am not living in Ireland ?

The Arthur Guinness Fund is only open to social entrepreneurs living in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with initiatives that will benefit communities in Ireland.

7. What category should I apply under ?

You should choose the category that best fits with the work of your project. If none of the categories are related to your project, please select the 'other' category.

8. Is there a quota of awards per category ?

No, there is no quota or minimum number of projects that must be chosen under each category heading. Projects will be chosen based on the judging criteria listed on the website.

9. What is the difference between the 'Start-Up' section and the 'Take-Off' section ?

Start-Up : If you have started your project within the last 2 years and are still in the early stages of development, and you need funding in order to prove your model, you can apply as a Start-Up project to receive €25,000 in funding per annum for 2 years. As a Start-Up project you will be challenged to raise additional funds over the course of the award.
Take-Off : If you have a project that is at a more advanced stage (ideally 2 - 5 years in operation) and are ready for your idea to 'Take-Off', you can apply to receive €50,000 in funding per annum for 2 years. Funding is based on your performance in meeting certain predetermined milestones.

10. My project has been in existence for more than 5 years. Can I still apply?

As we are looking for innovative ideas for social change in Ireland, projects applying in the 'Take-Off' section should ideally be 2-5 years in existence. Projects that have been in existence for longer than this will be considered on a case by case basis.

11. Can I submit more than one application ?

No, only one application will be considered per person/organisation/project.

12. What happens when I submit an application ?

When you submit an application you will automatically receive a confirmation email which will include a copy of your application form and further details about the application process. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours please contact us.

13. Who will review my application form ?

Your application form will be reviewed by a selected group of reviewers made up of staff from Diageo Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Any decision made by the review panel is final. Click here for more details.

14. Who are the judges ?

A group of experienced professionals from the Irish business and social sectors will join the judging panel at the interview stage of the process.

15. When will the reviews take place ?

The application process closes on Wednesday 30th November 2011 at 5pm. An initial shortlist of applicants will be selected by March 2012 and the successful applicants will be announced by May 2012. The decision of the judges is final. Timelines.

16. When will I know if my application has been successful ?

The initial shortlist will be chosen at the beginning of March 2012. You will be informed at that stage whether or not you have been shortlisted for an award.

17. What do I get if I am a successful applicant of the fund ?

Applications are split into two sections this year.
a) People who apply under the 'Start-Up' section will receive €25,000 in funding per annum for 2 years. Funding is based on performance in meeting certain predetermined milestones. Winners of this category will be challenged to raise additional funds from other sources - an essential skill for early stage social entrepreneurs.
b) People who apply under the 'Take-Off' section will receive €50,000 in funding per annum for 2 years. Funding is based on performance in meeting certain predetermined milestones.
All successful projects will receive technical and practical support as part of the award, and benefit from access to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Alumni Network.

18. Are there awards for runner up applicants?

No. Only the overall successful applicants will receive an award and support.

19. If my application is successful do I have some commitment to Guinness & Co.?

Yes. You will be required to get involved with promotional activities that are related to the Arthur Guinness Fund. Please see Terms and conditions.

20. How many Award Winners will there be?

The Arthur Guinness Fund is looking to support up to 10 social entrepreneurs this year. In the last two years it has already supported 20 social entrepreneurs.

21. Do I have to use the Award in a specific way?

Yes. The financial award must be used to deliver the project as outlined in your application to the Arthur Guinness Fund.

22. What will happen if I forget to include something in my application form?

The online application form will prompt you to complete all required information. However if you choose to submit the application via the downloadable word document, it is your own responsibility to ensure that all sections are completed before submitting. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to amend it. Please ensure you review your work carefully before you submit it.

23. I am having problems submitting my form online.

If you are having difficulties submitting your application online, please go to the contact us section and let us know as soon as possible. We recommend you keep a copy of your application form as Guinness & Co. will not be responsible for any lost application forms. You can download a copy of the Application Form here.

24. I have more questions, who should I contact ?

Please contact us here if you have any more questions.