Did you know that buysocial.ie helps connect you with trading social enterprises in Ireland. Social Enterprises which are set up to do good and sell products and services to achieve that end.
The power of buying social means that every time products and/or services are purchased from a social enterprise, positive social change can occur.
Buying from social enterprises is something that can easily be arranged by government, business, householders and individuals. Just match your need to the social enterprise and away you go on the road to responsible purchasing!
A key Feature
Social enterprise is about real enterprise. It is a business model that focuses on delivering social returns using business principles. It reinvests any surplus income earned from sales after costs to achieve its social goals. Profits do not go to any one individual, group of shareholders or board members.
As a social enterprise sells its products and/or services and manages costs it also plans to achieve social goals which can include:
- hiring more people facing barriers to employment.
- creating training and skills development opportunities.
- advancing diverse culture including different interests, skills, talents and needs.
- enhancing social inclusion – the terms on which individuals / groups take part in society.
- contributing to local economies.
- supporting environmental wellbeing.
When individuals or organisations buy from a social enterprise they are creating a ripple of value in communities. Purchases can have a range of positive effects including positive economic, environmental and social impacts.
Today in Ireland it’s easier than ever before to Buy Social – social enterprises are operating all over our country in sectors like office services, bike repair, childcare, catering, maintenance, furniture renewal, home repairs, cleaning, recycling, and more, all adding value to the goods and services you need and use.
If you are thinking about buying products and/or service offered by a social enterprise they should be equal or superior to those supplied by others. Quality and customer service are key to success in any organisation and usually feature highly in social enterprise.
If a social enterprise can find and serve a customer need, demand will follow, orders will be fulfilled and income will increase which leads to greater levels of certainty and sustainability within the enterprise.
This in turn can help create a training position or employment opportunities for persons seeking employment after an absence from the workforce or for younger people entering employment for the first time.
By choosing to buy from a social enterprise you are potentially enabling individuals who may have spent years out of work to get back into employment. A job can be transformational in so many ways for that person and their family.
Recycle IT as a social enterprise see work based training and job creation opportunities as a route to:
- increasing self esteem and confidence.
- reducing anxiety.
- increasing exposure to variety of situations.
- building trust in abilities.
- creating economic self-sufficiency.
- learn from colleagues
- progression within or externally.
Earning an Income
Many people consider making a profit as the main characteristic of a business. But for a social enterprise business is just a mechanism. Business is used to help support or introduce products or services to communities or groups overlooked by governments and private sectors organisations. In a social enterprise these needs are ranked higher than making as much money as possible.
Social Enterprise usually operate in space between the state and private sector organisations. Social Enterprises are generally amenable to testing out new ideas, ideally through a process of planning piloting and assessing product/service delivery in a small area.
The social enterprise team ensure communities are actively involved throughout the pilot process. They remind themselves, that profit is not a core consideration in offering products or services but at the same time costs do have to be covered.
This has the benefit of ensuring ideas respond to real social needs and insights gained from communities can be shared. This process helps demonstrate the passion to address real challenges in society.
In contrast to charity organisations, social enterprises are driven by business principles including the creation of income which is vital to success. For example, many of the people served by Recycle IT are a paying customers. All paying customers receive the recycling service they order generally on a given day and time. There payment helps us operate but it also helps subsidise further recycling services and opportunities offered by Recycle IT.
The next time you need a product or service look for a social enterprise nearby that may be able to help you!
Learn more about buying for community impact here
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT provide recycling opportunities to home and business customers for all types of electronics equipment. Recycle IT offer a range of services including free, drop off, free community collections and cost-effective personal or business collections.
Our team will accept old household electrical items, small office electrical items alongside your garden power tools and pure metal equipment. We can also accept commercial appliances but do call in advance.
Recycle IT as a social enterprise works in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office.