Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has called on people who have ideas and initiatives that address social issues to apply for financial support. 

SEI is looking for people with early-stage ideas as well as those who are ready to grow and scale their existing projects. 

It said it has over €0.5m in funding and support for the best 50 ideas to make Ireland a better place in which to live. 

The project is supported by business support services company DCC.

SEI said there are two ways that social entrepreneurs and aspiring social entrepreneurs can apply for support - The Academy and The Awards Programme. 

The Academy for Social Entrepreneurs is a six-month programme where 45 people with early-stage ideas will receive training, mentoring and support along with an opportunity to pitch for seed funding. 

For the Awards Programme, six winners are provided with both direct funding and targeted support on projects which tackle social problems. 

Previous winners of funding and support from SEI include FoodCloud, which to date has delivered over 40 million meals to people in need.

Another winner was AsIAm, which that seeks to develop a strong, well-informed and vibrant autism community.

CyberSafeIreland, an organisation that equips children, and those who care for them, with the skills needed to navigate the online world in a safe and responsible manner was also a recent winner.

"We are looking for passionate people who have new ideas to make a difference in our communities," commented Darren Ryan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

"We are not looking for the perfect ideas - even if your idea is just getting started we want to hear it. We can help get the idea started or increase the impact you are having," Mr Ryan said.

"Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is uniquely placed to back these early-stage ideas, with support from DCC and all our partners, to have a positive impact on lives across the country," he added.