BNest Ask&Advice evening with Chris Gordon gives you a chance to give back to your community

  • BNest Ask and Advice Evening
Chris Gordon, founder and CEO of the Irish Social Enterprise Network, Gert O’Rourke, Nexus Innovation Centre Manager with Kasia Zabinska and Eamon Ryan of BNest at the launch of the BNest Ask&Advice Evening 2018

Are you interested in giving back to your community and meeting other people who are trying to make a social impact in Limerick and the surrounding areas?

BNest is giving you the chance to do just that at an open, free and informal Ask&Advice evening with special guest Chris Gordon, on Wednesday 9th May. The purpose of the evening is to share advice, tips and useful contacts with emerging social entrepreneurs who are in need of help on their journey. No asking for money, no asking for volunteers, just your brain for an hour or so in return for beer and pizza.

Chris Gordon, the host of the evening, is a business and social entrepreneur and is back for a second time following the huge success of the last event. He is the founder of the Irish Social Enterprise Network and Managing Partner of Collaboration Ireland. Chris said, “I am honoured to be asked back by BNest for the second time. The idea is simple – everyone is welcome to show up, enjoy some beer and pizza, chat and get to know those who try to make a social impact in Limerick and surrounding areas. At the last event, the group was able to solve various problems from sourcing the best insurance for camps with autistic participants to finding low-cost office space to help with a start-up operation – simple practical challenges people face, the group brainstorms to try and help them out.”

BNest, the first dedicated Social Enterprise Incubator Programme in Ireland, is an initiative created specifically to support social entrepreneurs nurture their start-ups, and caters to all types of organisations, from charities to businesses with a social conscience.

BNest was born in 2016 when businessman Eamon Ryan was sitting on a bus in Tanzania complaining to a friend about the lack of support for start-ups with a social purpose. His friend responded by challenging Eamon to do something about it. As a result, Eamon founded BNest, a self-funded social enterprise incubator based at the Nexus Innovation Centre at the University of Limerick, that helps start-ups with social goals. Eamon runs the incubator with colleague and marketing consultant Kasia Zabinska.

The BNest annual six-month programme teaches emerging social entrepreneurs how to get their new organisations off to the best start by focusing on key areas related to developing their enterprises in terms of business, social and personal aspects. The programme puts practical need ahead of theory, and promotes self-learning by helping participants grasp the principles of these aspects by connecting them directly to their business. The applications for 2018/2019 programme will open 1st July 2018.

Kasia adds, “Emerging social entrepreneurs have great ideas and they never lack passion and really want to make things better but also face a lot of challenges. Limited resources, lack of contacts, know how or funds slow them down a little. At the Ask&Advice evening, attendees will present what they are trying to do and share a small, day-to-day challenge that they are facing. Together, the group will then brainstorm, to try and help them out. You get to meet some nice people, learn about really interesting projects happening in your neighbourhood and who knows – you might have an answer, tip or a contact that will help local social enterprise.”

The BNest Ask&Advice evening takes place Wednesday 9th May at the BOI Workbench from 6pm - 9pm and is a free event. For more information contact kasia@bnest.ie or visit BNest.ie/events.

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