Social enterprise is a business model that puts people and community first, ahead of private or personal gain, while operating in a commercially viable and sustainable way. They are governed in an accountable and transparent way by a voluntary Board and are independent of the public sector.
Many reuse and recycling companies operate as social enterprises that provide sustainable and meaningful employment for people who might not otherwise have access to it.
The majority of CRNI’s members are social enterprises, contributing to the environment, economy and needs of our society and community, or the “triple bottom line”.
CRNI members work to promote equality by supporting individuals or groups that are long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, ex-offenders, people coming from drug rehabilitation and disadvantaged communities—such as members of the Traveller and Roma community—through employment schemes, such as CSP, Tús, RSS, CE and others. These employment and training opportunities can help lift people out of poverty, enter the job market and learn new skills that can support career progression.
CRNI retail members work to address poverty by providing refurbished or reused goods at affordable prices and in some cases, at a significant discount. This enables low-income families to meet their needs without incurring debts or making do without essential items. CRNI members also create volunteer opportunities, which helps to address social exclusion by offering a sense of community, purpose and belonging to those who are lonely or otherwise excluded.
According to a Volunteer Ireland study, 55% of respondents to an online national survey of volunteers stated that their mental health and well-being had increased following their volunteering experience. See the study on the Publications page: https://crni.ie/publications/