The creators of a travel app for people with reduced mobility will be among nine businesses to win €600,000 in funding at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Awards tonight.
Mobility Mojo, a TripAdvisor-type app for reduced mobility users, will take home an SEI Elevator Award for an app to help users find and share up-to-date information about wheelchair accessible transport in Dublin, as well as places to eat, drink, sleep and visit.
The company will pocket €20,000 and join SEI’s Elevator Programme, which offers mentoring, training and support to social entrepreneurs in the early stages of their work.
According to the company’s director Noelle Daly, the award will enable them to make the app a one-stop shop for people with impaired mobility who currently struggle to find accurate advice online.
“People with mobility issues face huge problems trying to find trustworthy information about how accessible a venue is and sourcing transport that suits their needs,” said Daly, a wheelchair user herself.
“Unfortunately many people choose not to travel rather than risk something going wrong. We reach out to the ‘one in seven’ who have reported basic mobility issues.”
Irish Responsible Tourism Awards
Mobility Mojo also recently won a silver award at the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, with Daly keen to stress the economic potential in making Ireland a leading destination in catering for people with reduced mobility.
“I travel a lot and I understand exactly how important it is to get it right when it comes to accessible holidays,” she said.
“I strongly believe that getting accessible tourism firmly on the global map will benefit us all particularly going into the future with our ageing population.”
Darren Ryan, chief executive of SEI, praised the potential of Mobility Mojo and expects it to match the impact of previous winners.
“Mobility Mojo and the other entrepreneurs joining our programme are creating innovative solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges,” he said.
“Their positive impact will be felt across the country for years to come.”
A total of 204 social entrepreneurs have received financial support to the tune of €6.7 million from SEI over the past 12 years, going on to create 1,230 jobs.
Previous winners include Smartvote, an app to help voters pick candidates best in line with their views, and FoodCloud, an app linking retailers with charities to share surplus food in a few simple clicks.
The eight other companies to receive support will be announced at this evening’s ceremony, sponsored by DCC plc, an international support services group based in Dublin.
A sponsor for the past six years, DCC has committed to provide a further €700,000 in funding until 2019.