Tammy Darcy joined us in the Growth Hub on the 3rd of March with a fantastic talk about social enterprise. Tammy was the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian of the year in 2021, and is a double IMRO award winner. A social entrepreneur, Tammy set up the Shona Project in 2016 to honour her older sister, Shona. She founded the Shona Project to provide a safe place for girls to seek guidance and advice on all the challenges associated with growing up in Ireland. Backed by a team of professional advisors, the Shona Project website also provides girls with an opportunity to share their own stories and learn from each other.
The Shine Festival is one of the signature events of the Shona Project, which Tammy brought online with tremendous success in recent years. To date the Shona Project has engaged 20,000 people through school workshops and events, across Ireland and reaches 350,000 through their social media each month.
In social enterprise it is important to “start with the impact and work backwards”, Tammy explained. This is exactly how she began the Shona project, starting slowly but always having a big vision in mind. Raising funds can be challenging in a social enterprise and you need to be creative, so Tammy advised to “sell your brand to partners who reflect your values”.
Tammy is a big believer in pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, which she still does on a regular basis. However, she honestly admits that she would not be where she is today without the help of others. “You need to surround yourself with people who have a similar mindset to you, who can help you along the way” she said. In conclusion, Tammy left us with important words of wisdom when she reflected “your network is you superpower”.