Irish Impact

Social Entrepreneurship Conference 2013

Irish Impact

Sponsored by the Zielsdorf Family

REGISTER NOW for Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference 2013! 

The second annual Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference will take place at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 2-4, 2013. Please register for the conference at

This event is dedicated to SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, a movement that continues to spark dialogue across the globe. Not only is its very definition much debated, but its viability as a sustainable poverty alleviation strategy is much discussed, as well.

In our view, social entrepreneurship is a landscape that includes the innovative and evolving business enterprises such as microfinance, microenterprise development, bottom-of-the-pyramid markets, fair trade and the like.

We believe social entrepreneurship is a vital economic force that links business innovation and social value.

Social entrepreneurs are developing new pathways for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised among us to access markets, resources and services, whether in the public health arena, education or economic development.

The Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference seeks to unite social innovators who are developing new business models, whether for-profit, nonprofit or hybrid enterprises, in diverse industries with likeminded students who are searching for concrete examples and avenues to address societal needs.

Likewise, we want to facilitate connections and networking among social entrepreneurs and potential funding organizations, including corporate and nonprofit foundations, private equity and social venture capitalists, and individuals.

We promise a stimulating agenda and an energizing three-day conference on the beautiful University of Notre Dame campus. We challenge participants to leave the conference with more than just inspiration, new ideas and connections, which we promise to deliver, but with a plan to make an impact with your particular passion in your particular part of the world, wherever that may be.

The Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference is sponsored by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business and Fellow Irish Social Hub (FISH), with generous support from The Robert L. (ND '65) and Frances J. Zielsdorf Foundation.

The Gigot Center was founded in 1998 for the purpose of fostering innovation. Through rigorous coursework, the center’s business plan competitions, extensive networking and mentorship, and hands-on learning experiences provide students with the knowledge and skills vital to traditional and social entrepreneurship.

FISH offers incubation services to social entrepreneurs ready to launch their ventures. In partnership with Innovation Park at Notre Dame, FISH provides world-class facilities and critical occupational services, as well as valuable research and development tools. Its nine-month business incubator program is designed to prepare each client to launch a social enterprise and to maximize its social impact.

The Zielsdorf Foundation provides support for health care, education, and hardship and emergency grants to deserving individuals and families in Indian River County, Florida; Shelby County, Ohio; and Cheboygan County, Michigan.  As long time supporters of Notre Dame and Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns, the Zielsdorfs view the opportunity to help underwrite the Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference as a way to support the growth of Social Entrepreneurship and to help instill the idea that elements of capitalism can be harnassed as a force for good.

For more information, contact Melissa Paulsen, Gigot Center assistant director, at (574) 631-7568 or