Allstate NI had previously been involved with the Prince's Trust where a team of employees had taken seed money of £1,500 and turned it into £12,000 in less than 4 months using their skills and talent. Funding was also provided by both the PSNI and DOE for the XtheTXT — Don't Text and Drive program which allowed the initiative to reach more students across Northern Ireland. The success of these programmes not only in raising money but in using employees' skills and talents to make a difference in the community led to us thinking bout how we could leverage the talent of our employees further and the idea of Dragons' Den was born. Employees enter via an application process as individuals or groups and the best ideas were then invited to the Dragons' Den.
In 2013 there were 6 winners altogether who received seed money to get their idea for social entrepreneurship off the ground. The 2 large projects received seed money of £1,500 and 4 smaller initiatives received £500. The teams also received management & marketing support and expertise to help with their initiatives as well as the company contributing time off to allow them to work on their projects.
Allstate's Week of Service was initiated in 2012, and encourages employees to support and volunteer in communities where we live and work. On the 10th — 15th June 2013, several thousand Allstate employees led or joined volunteer projects across America, and for the first time, Canada, India and Northern Ireland joined in this company-wide demonstration of caring. At Allstate's 60 largest American office locations, Allstate Ambassadors led food drives, partnering with Feeding America for hungry children who suffer most during school breaks, when they don't have access to free and reduced-lunch programs. Here in Northern Ireland, Week of Service ties in perfectly with the second part of our Dragon's Den innovation program, Dragon's Den II — Time to Give Back. Six new volunteer projects started in 2013.