Social Enterprise – Buying for Community Impact

Business like any Other! 

A social enterprise is an enterprise, which operates like a business but also pays attention to reducing community concerns and challenges in areas like training, employment, housing, care, education, environmental pollution, recycling and more. Actions and impacts are achieved through business operations. Recycle IT is a social enterprise based in Dublin.

You will agree most rational consumers make a purchase decision based on the exchange of value, usually money. Most of the traditional buying decisions are based on product or service quality, value, performance or benefits so a social enterprise has to match this expectation. It”s just not good enough to be a not for profit social enterprise and trade on that!!

Trading Through Social Enterprise

Conscious Consumers 

Becoming a social consumer is about making socially responsible choices when spending your hard-earned income. Thinking about how best to spend your earnings can be an easy way of taking responsibility for your choices and purchase decisions.

In our estimation, the number of socially conscious consumers in Ireland taking responsibility is on the rise. As more social enterprises offer great and in-demand products and services consumers are happy to use their spending power on those products and services. When you decide to buy from a social enterprise, your spending is reused to support a range of social endeavours.

A large portion of social enterprises in Ireland work with individuals or are located in socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Their goals can include creating training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups such as early school leavers, people with differing abilities, ethnic groups, ex-offenders and others. 

Making the Difference

When you buy from a social enterprise you actually invest in people, not profit. You can really help make changes to the lives of others by improving communities around you. Your decision to purchase can help support people in learning new skills, building confidence, working in teams and earning an income for delivering products and/or service in communities all over Ireland.

Change is Good

Lots of social enterprises offer innovation around their products and service offering meaning that you will get great quality and reliability;  whether that’s FairTrade coffee, hand-stitched clothes, second-hand furniture or easy mattress recycling.

Buying social doesn’t have to mean skimping on quality. Do your research on local social enterprises, check reviews to see what others say and call to learn more. If you like what you see or hear,  why not give them a try.

Customer Journey

Feeling Connected

It can be hard to know where your money ends up when you buy from larger organisations. Sometimes you need to check if companies are connected to operations in other countries and if your money could end supporting an unethical or environmentally hazardous activity, employing child labour or polluting rivers and lakes. When you buy from a local social enterprise, their business practices are generally transparent and guided by local rules and regulation. You should feel better knowing your money is being used for positive impacts.


Over the last few years Recycle IT has seen a greater number of organisational and personal consumers consider our social enterprise as an option and solution for their electrical, electronic and metal recycling needs. There is no reason why this experience can be shared by other social enterprises once consumers are aware, have a need and are willing to spend! 

European Picture

The EU has helped complied country reports to provide a comprehensive picture of social enterprises and their eco-systems in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia, Poland and Ireland based on a common definition. A concise EU report sums up key lessons on the recent developments in Europe.

An important finding is that both social economy and social enterprises have shown resilience and job retention during economic crises and beyond

In Closing 

Growth of social enterprise is an emerging trend worldwide. Climate change, human vulnerability, environmental degradation, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, mental health, differing abilities, unethical business practices are some of the factors driving growth.

Team Work

The characteristics of social enterprises demonstrate they are businesses which trade for social purposes including change. They reinvest surplus earning in their primary goals and work to maintain a high ethical standard in the delivery of products and/or services.

We encourage you to find social enterprises close to you and if suitable use their offerings to address your needs, in other words, buy from them if it suits you!

You will find a list of social enterprises (some, not all) operating in Ireland here

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT, is an award-winning social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop off and collection. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council.

Recycle IT are supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorised by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.

For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email or visit our website

Van 2020
Van with Recycle IT Logo




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