Social Entrepreneurs — Robert Mulhall, Lucca Leadership

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Social Entrepreneurs Ireland sends out a regular email update on progress from current awardees and alumni, news which is inspiring and enlightening for all entrepreneurs, not just those of the social mould. As such I'm delighted that the organization has agreed to allow the republication of those updates here.

These won't be full profiles, but useful jumping off points for those stories which interest you. I may also wrap my own thoughts or further insights gleaned from interactions with these entrepreners at workshops and other events.

Let's start with Robert Mulhall of Lucca Leadership. Robert was one of the first people I got chatting to at orientation day, though he was a level 2 awardee and I a level 1 (level 2 awardees run projects which already have a proven model and are
looking to significantly grow in scale and impact). A few things that struck me about him after only a few minutes of conversation were his confidence, determination and generosity.

In 2004 having volunteered with Lucca Leadership in
the UK for two years, Robert set up Lucca Leadership Ireland
with the help of some close friends who were inspired by a vision and
wanted to make a positive impact themselves. Lucca Leadership
programmes are designed for young people from all backgrounds to
experience what it takes to lead positive change. They help young
people to develop their confidence, leadership skills and
understanding, and a sense of responsibility to make a positive
difference in the world. Lucca Leadership programmes in Ireland include tailored programmes for
Transition Year students and youth organisations, mentor training
programmes and community days.

Robert believes that the best way to ensure the brightest future for
Ireland and the world is to create it. There are many problems in this
world: poverty, disease, inequality, war, abuse, suicide. However,
Robert strongly believes that without great leadership none of these
problems will be resolved. In caring for the needs of all,
transformational leaders look to co-operate and find that which will
unite, rather than that which only divides. Robert says –

“The people who inspire me the most are the young people who come
on our leadership programmes, who discover a confidence within
themselves and a sense of responsibility to take action and go out and
make the difference.”

Since September, Lucca Leadership has run more than 10 programmes with another 11 lined up before Christmas holidays. This has allowed Robert and Lucca to impact on more than 165 young people who are now in turn impacting on more than 2000 people through their community and school based projects. These projects range from raising money, repainting their school or supporting homeless people through the winter months with boxes of supplies. After a very successful session at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Residential in Maynooth in September, Robert is now working with several other Awardees, delivering leadership training to their organisations.

For example Antoinette Keelan’s programme for young people at St. John’s Education Centre has now been expanded to include two days Leadership Training for students provided by Lucca Leadership. St John’s is now providing extra support for the parents of its students through Solution Focused Parenting Programmes. This support will continue long after each programme has finished as a phone network link will be set up to allow the conversations and support to continue. The students now have also one on one development time to help them discover their individual talents and possible related careers in the future.

The latest news from Robert is that Lucca Leadership has been running programmes in Bath University, Limerick (2), Raheny in Dublin, Listowel, St John Centre with Sr Antoinette and the No Name Club in Croke Park, impacting overall on more than 130 young people. Robert will also be featuring (with SEI’s Annalisa O’Carroll!) on RTE’s Pobal programme at 5.25pm on Sunday November 30.

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