Deirdre Mortell – CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland

  • Deirdre has built Social Innovation Fund Ireland from the ground up and is also CONNECT’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence. She has twenty years’ experience of changing the world one step at a time. Sometimes by leading and sometimes by contributing in a team setting to delivering high growth or a step change in impact in Ireland’s leading non-profit organisations. Deirdre has been CEO of ONE Foundation, held senior roles in fundraising & communications in Oxfam and Barnardos, and held multiple Board directorships.  Uniting all this is Deirdre’s passion for social change, both globally and locally in Ireland, and the power both of philanthropy and the ordinary citizen to change things – often faster than we think.

    She especially loves doing start-ups, having done 7 in the last ten years. The rest of the time she loves to travel, and recently learned to ride a horse.


    Title: Social Innovation in Ireland: Dream or reality?

    Synopsis: Is social innovation a reality in Ireland? If so, who says so? Social Innovation is a critical part of positioning Ireland an Innovation Hub – business, social and cultural innovation are a 3 legged stool. Without one, it’s unbalanced. Social Innovation Fund Ireland has raised a €12 million investment Fund to date, with 50% backing from Government, and backed 31 social innovations. How can we support the natural links between innovators that are separated by our silos thinking and doing? It’about Innovation, period.

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