What we do

Social Impact Ireland is devoted to making a difference in the social enterprise sector in Ireland.

We believe in the power and the potential of each individual to make a real difference that will benefit their community and beyond, and make a positive social impact.

We work hard with each individual, at whatever stage they are on their social enterprise journey – to fulfil the potential of their endeavour to make a positive impact on society.

We do this through;

Leadership: local, regional, national, European -through providing sector insights.
Elevating the voices of the sector: helping the social entrepreneurs’ experience, wishes be heard.
Collaboration: our success to date has been all down to wonderful connections and results driven collaborations.
Passion: in what we do to match the passion of those we support.
Expertise: supporting the full SE journey – business & personal.

Meet The Team

Pauline Gannon
Pauline GannonCo-founder and Director of Impact
Pauline has helped to build, develop and grow Social Impact Ireland since its inception in 2016. She has fifteen years’ business and leadership experience with ambitions to put positive social impact at the centre of all business models, regardless of business structure. Pauline has founded a number of start-ups, held senior roles in a number of business settings and also holds multiple board directorships.
She is an authentic leader, encouraging all to work on their business mindset with the same dedication to developing their business skills. Pauline is passionate about creating social change that supports all within our communities; inclusive, diverse and impactful, taking Ireland to a global stage for social entrepreneurship. She especially loves supporting women on their business journeys, inspiring them to reach their full potential, in turn, having a positive impact through their work.

In her spare time, Pauline is an avid ultra-runner, hiker and adventure seeker, enjoying the outdoors with her family, friends and beloved dogs

Michaela Donegan
Michaela DoneganSocial Innovation & Impact Manager
Michaela developed and led a multi-award-winning eco-design Social Enterprise for 7 years and worked as a consultant trainer, designer, and facilitator supporting diverse groups within many business and community settings. Michaela also set up her own business where she designed and delivered programmes around the Circular Economy including Fashion Design and Upcycling Furniture & Clothing for both private and public companies. She has 12 years’ experience in Community Development nourishing existing talents, holding space, and delivering positive learning environments. Michaela’s professional career commenced in Property Management, where she gained her love of design and old buildings.

She holds a Postgraduate in Creativity & Change from MTU, B.Sc. in Real Estate Management from Oxford Brookes University, Diploma in Fashion Design and a Certificate in Training & Continued Education from NUI, Maynooth.

In her spare time, Michaela enjoys spinning, seeing new countries, learning and all things beautiful. She is passionate about driving social change, the circular economy, and global citizenship.

Ken Baird
Ken BairdMarketing & Communications Manager
Ken has a background in Marketing & Design working within the social enterprise sector in both Australia and Ireland. As well as overseeing Social Impact Ireland’s own marketing initiative, Ken has assisted clients and participants to meet their marketing needs both at strategy and implementation levels. His marketing philosophy is to be empathetic – understanding your audience, relating to them with quality content, be personable & genuine, and to communicate clearly.

He is passionate about the social enterprise sector, community and environmental issues and hosts an online platform combatting plastic pollution.

In his spare time, Ken enjoys the outdoors – biking, hiking, sea swims and campervan adventures – with his two dogs.

Nicole Ryan
Nicole RyanBusiness Development Advisor
Nicole set up her own social enterprise in 2016 and has won several awards including Humanitarian of the Year 2018, Best Start Up 2019 and Pride of Cork 2021. Nicole’s role is to help social enterprises through the various challenges they face to become sustainable and impactful businesses. One of her many passions is Storytelling, and she works with entrepreneurs to help them harness the powers of their stories through their lived experiences. Nicole has also worked with multinational corporate companies to help both companies and employees find their inner resilience and strengthen their teams. In her role as Business Development Advisor at SII, Nicole is responsible for building an engaged community for all and helping SE through any challenges they face.
Evelyn Pepperrell
Evelyn PepperrellOffice Manager & Programs Communication Officer
As a communications professional, Evelyn understands the importance of creating good relationships. With over 30 years working experience across service areas of senior administration, event logistics, marketing & social media, Evelyn is comfortable with supporting business teams from executive director level to small business enterprises. In terms of values Evelyn is community minded and believes in being a contributor rather than a bystander.
Evelyn was one of our first co-hort of social incubator programme participants in 2015 with midwest charity ADD MidWest Support, a parent support group / CLG she was passionate about representing for 10 years – serving 4 of these on the board of directors.

In her spare time, Evelyn likes to read, listen to music, attend cultural events and enjoys photography.

Ciara Regan
Ciara ReganSocial Inclusion Officer
Ciara is originally from Dublin but moved to Kildare around 11 years ago. She has a passion for learning and returned to studies to complete a bachelors in Social Science and a Masters in Social Policy – Rights and Human Rights.
She believes that representation is key in society today and to truly make changes everyone needs to be seen and heard.

She is passionate about inclusion, representation and social change.

In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and going on adventures.

Our story

Social Impact Ireland is a values driven organisation that puts impact at the heart of everything we do . What started as a conversation on a mountain in Africa between our co-founders Pauline Gannon and Eamon Ryan, has grown with incredible momentum over the past five years. As an organisation we have moved from a local to regional reach and now we move national, with a vision that is already seeing the start of continued growth to a European level.

Both Pauline and Eamon bring long standing legal and corporate experience to everything that we do here at Social Impact Ireland, with one essential caveat, keeping the people we support, the people striving to make a difference at the heart of everything we do. We are built on a solid strong reputation, connection through our community and collaboration, while ever conscious that real impact requires sustained viable delivery over time.

As Social Impact Ireland has grown from BNest in 2015, to the Irish Social Business Campus 2017, when we joined with our partners Nexus Innovation Centre, Kemmy Business School, Clare Local Development Company, SECAD, North East West Kerry Development Company and the Ludgate Hub in West Cork. What we see today is an organisation that works in many ways to support the many different stages of social enterprises, supporting both the enterprise and the individual, allowing them to achieve the impact they desire, wherever they may be on their journey.

Core to our values at the beginning was a sense of collaboration – that together, more is possible. In keeping with this, we ourselves seek to partner with those who share both the passion and values. We also seek to create similar opportunities for those active in social enterprise by creating opportunities for both connectivity and collaboration, not only among themselves but also with forward thinking commercial organisations.

Ultimately, it is about enhancing and growing a vibrant collaborative social enterprise sector. One that gives free reign to the passion of the people we all support, to deliver to the benefit of us all.

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