IMAGE Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Emma Reidy: ‘You can’t go it alone — you need to be part of a team’

  • by IMAGE

Collaboration and teamwork are essential for social entrepreneurs, says Emma Reidy  

Emma Reidy, the CEO of Aoibhneas, was named IMAGE Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 at a black-tie event in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel on Monday night.

Aoibhneas, a refuge from domestic violence for women and children, was established in 1988 and has grown significantly over the last few years.

With Emma at its helm, the support service has raised awareness of domestic abuse and highlighted the issue of homelessness and its effect on women returning to abusive partners.


We caught up with the social entrepreneur shortly after her win, and asked her to share the best — and worst — business advice she has ever received.

The best...

“Be open and honest with your team. There are challenges and successes that every team has to go through and it’s about being as open as possible. In my line of work, which is so frontline and crisis-oriented, if communication isn’t full, honest and frank, it can leave people feeling various types of anxiousness if they don’t get what they need.”

And the worst...

“I was told that you can do it by going alone and persevering. Today, I realise that you can have perseverance but to go it alone may, ultimately, be where you experience a downfall... What I’ve learned is that you do ultimately need people. And you need teams. You need strong people that can reinforce support and carry on what you begin, and there’s no point thinking about something in isolation.”

Photo: Emma Reidy accepting her award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Kieran Harnett)


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