Free Promotional Opportunity for Social Enterprises Selling Goods and Services

Free Promotional Opportunity for Social Enterprises Selling Goods and Services

Speedpak Group is seeking to make contact with other Work Integration Social Enterprises [WISEs] who wish to be featured in the WISE Ireland directory that was launched in May 2022.

“Work Integration Social Enterprises exist mainly to improve the employability and employment prospects of people furthest from the labour market.” (O’Hara & O’Shaughnessy, 2021).

This project was undertaken in order to raise awareness of WISEs, particularly among the business community. Our goal is to increase commercial, procurement and philanthropic opportunities for social enterprises.

The directory can be viewed at Inclusion is free of charge.

We are continuting to promote the directory to large businesses to highlight how they can create positive social impact by collaborating with WISEs. We demonstrate how, by partnering on commercial or social projects with WISEs, those businesses can achieve their Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and realise their Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] ambitions.

The project was initiated as part of the Government’s 2022 Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprises [ARISE] programme, approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Please get in contact with us at so that we can include your organisation’s details in the directory …and together we can raise the profile of our sector and provide greater supports for people who are long-term unemployed.

Further details for social enterprises is available on the WISE project landing page at

Updated: 3 August 2022

The 7 Pillars of the European Social Economy Action Plan

The 7 Pillars of the European Social Economy Action Plan

European Action plan for the Social Economy – The Seven Pillars

The following seven pillars for a European Action Plan for the Social Economy have been proposed by Social Economy Europe.

Pillar 1: Establish a common understanding of social economy enterprises and organisations in Europe.

Pillar 2: Improve the visibility of social economy enterprises and organisations and of their values and characteristics.

Pillar 3: Measure and further document the weight of the social economy and its effective contribution to the socio-economic development of the European Union.

Pillar 4: Provide a conducive ecosystem for the growth of social economy enterprises and organisations, supporting them to access to finance and to scale up, and by establishing the necessary legal framework, allowing them to fully operate trans-nationally in the single market.

Pillar 5: Further integrate the social economy in EU funds and programmes such as the ERDF, ESP Plus and the cohesion funds.

Pillar 6: Foster the role of the social economy in the external action of the European Union.

Pillar 7: Consolidate and strengthen a permanent and structured dialogue between EU institutions and the social economy.

The European Action Plan for the Social Economy is due to be launched on Wednesday 8th December 2021.

Speedpak Group features on Acumen’s international list of 100 corporate-ready social enterprises

Speedpak Group features on Acumen’s international list of 100 corporate-ready social enterprises

Dublin-based Speedpak Group has been nominated as one of Acumen’s 100 Corporate-Ready Social Enterprises

The list, and accompanying survey-based report Corporate-Ready—How Corporations and Social Enterprises do Business Together to Drive Impact was created by international nonprofit impact investment fund Acumen. It showcases a diverse collection of established social enterprises, from a range of industries, that are ready to partner, collaborate and do business with corporations.

The report points out that “corporations, large and small, play a key role in creating a fairer and more equal world” and that “all sectors need to work together on our most pressing issues for a sustainable future. It continues: “engaging with social entrepreneurs that develop scalable business models to address social challenges can accelerate those efforts.”

The report dispels misconceptions about social enterprises relating to size, capabilities and capacity while case studies draw attention to successful partnering, illustrating how barriers between stakeholders can be overcome.

A key finding from the survey was that social enterprises have significant social impact that is aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and that they can “deliver concrete and measurable progress on corporate sustainability targets”.

The report was supported by IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, and developed in collaboration with members of the World Economic Forum’s COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. The social enterprises featured were chosen because they are already selling to corporations and offering direct benefit to marginalised groups.

Social procurement. Good for governments, good for businesses, good for social enterprises and good for society.

Social procurement. Good for governments, good for businesses, good for social enterprises and good for society.

Social procurement refers to the purchase of goods and services, by businesses and governments, from social enterprises and other organisations that have a strong ethical mission. It considers not just the economic impact of a purchase but also the positive social and/or environmental impact that that purchase entails.

This multi-outcome, value-added approach is growing, as businesses and governments worldwide seek ways to trade and operate more sustainably. This growth is also due in no small measure to lobbying by the social enterprise sector, which has strengthened and proven its worth over the past three decades.

Positive support for social procurement by governments worldwide

Social procurement is increasingly featured in government policy, as the benefits to society of buying from local, ethical suppliers are being recognised. The Irish Government has vowed in its National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 to “support capacity-building for social enterprises in relation to procurement processes through workshops and training” and to “work with stakeholders to identify how to improve opportunities for social enterprises in the business-to-business supply-chain and in public procurement.” Through the Social Considerations Advisory Group it will “help policy makers to better understand how procurement can be used to facilitate the advancement of social policy objectives within appropriate and structured public procurement guidelines”.

This commitment suggests an appetite to rework traditional procurement policies, in order to accommodate social enterprises. Going further, a new legal structure for social enterprises – none currently exists under Irish law – could support a better understanding of what social enterprises are and where they ‘fit’ with procurement managers and their processes.

A key finding of the 2020 Buying for Social Impact (BSI) project (commissioned by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) was that “…socially responsible public procurement [SRPP] is easier in countries where legal frameworks or legal forms for social economy enterprises exist”. It continues: “it is also easier for social economy enterprises to access public procurement procedures in countries where those legal frameworks or legal forms exist”.

Businesses are using social procurement to achieve their sustainability goals

Businesses are also buying from social enterprises. Though less active than governments, according to The State of Social Procurement in Australia & New Zealand 2021 report, they are nonetheless under pressure to become more sustainable, enhance their reputations and cultivate positive relationships with the communities in which they are based. Tammy Darcy, CEO of SERI has highlighted “the need for social impact to be included as a consideration in the wider economy by all enterprises, not just social enterprises”. 

Social procurement in the UK has been propelled by Social Enterprise UK’s successful Buy Social Corporate Challenge. The campaign’s corporate focus has resulted in a £165m spend, by 27 participating businesses since 2018, on goods and services supplied by social enterprises.

Social procurement – a strategic choice

Social enterprises offer corporations the opportunity to merge sustainable initiatives with corporate and commercial strategy. This allows corporations to ‘hit the ground running’ with projects that provide social as well as commercial value, while not having to deviate significantly from strategy. To governments, they offer flexibility and the opportunity to collaborate on projects where local interest, knowledge and expertise are key to undertaking a project efficiently.

Social procurement offers a lifeline to social enterprises that helps them to grow, to develop a stronger voice and, through collaboration, to expand their influence. It provides them with the means to gain greater recognition as real, innovative businesses operating in competitive marketplaces. It enables them to forge a greater standing in their communities and to become a stronger force for creating positive social change.


Social Procurement Resources

Buying social: A guide to taking account of social considerations in public procurement

Publications Office of the European Union

A Guide to Social Procurement

Buy Social Canada

Green Public Procurement: Guidance for the Public Sector

Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], Ireland

Guide to Social Value in Procurement

Evolve UK and Enterprise Ireland 

The State of Procurement in Australia and New Zealand

Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Enhanced Skills Programme 2 [ESP2]

Enhanced Skills Programme 2 [ESP2]

An award-winning, industry-led programme tailored to meet the needs of jobseekers with a criminal conviction.


Do you need recent work experience to build up your CV?

Are you interested in a career in manufacturing, warehousing or e-commerce fulfilment?

Do you want a job so you can start living life on your terms?

If so, this opportunity could be for you!

A New Beginning

Start—or restart—your career in our 52-week, free-of-charge-to-you Enhanced Skills Programme 2.

This award-winning, industry-led programme has been adapted to meet the needs of jobseekers who have a criminal conviction.

Happy worker with thumb up

Jobs Market Advantage

Job-seekers are given the opportunity to get real commercial work experience, to upskill with industry-led training and to work in a team-based environment in Speedpak.

We also facilitate external work placements with our industry partners, all of whom are well-know companies. We use our strong relationships with these partners to promote diversity and equality in their workplaces.

This is an exciting and valuable opportunity to learn, to put your training into practice and to impress local employers.

Opportunity on Dublin’s Northside

The ESP2 Programme is run by Speedpak Group with the support of business, state and community partners.

Trainees will work and train on-site at our premises in Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park in Dublin 17.

Your work experience and training on the programme will provide you with:

  • an up-to-date Reference and CV
  • greater Confidence, Self-esteem and Job-Seeking Skills
  • qualifications in Health & Safety, Manual Handling and Occupational First Aid
  • a SafePass and Forklift Licence
  • skills in Information Technology, Stock Control, Warehousing and Manufacturing Processes.

You will be supported throughout the programme by a Job Coach, On-the-job Mentors and our Human Resources team.

We will use our Employability & Distance Travelled System [EDTS] to track your progress and to support you as you kickstart your career!

Enhanced Skills Programme Consumer Journey

Find Out More

For information on how to apply for the ESP2 Programme, please call us on 01 867 1707 [Option #3] and ask for Angela.

Click on the links below to download the above information in a printable format:

ESP2 Programme Information Sheet [PDF 457K]

Consumer Journey Detail [PDF 50K]

Take this opportunity to make a fresh start, to find a new career and to begin living life on your terms!

Speedpak Group – Continuing to Trade, Train and Transform

Speedpak Group – Continuing to Trade, Train and Transform


We are fortunate throughout lockdown that our Speedpak Contract Services division continues to be part of the national supply chain for medical devices and catering disposables. For these contracts, we break down bulk consignments of medical masks and latex gloves for warehousing, pick and pack and distribution while disposable catering products are re-packed for distribution and sale in wholesalers. To operate safely we have maintained a core staffing while the our training staff have been temporarily furloughed. 

We have also redeployed staff from our Shamrock Rosette business. Supplying mainly to public events, Shamrock Rosettes saw its business significantly reduced. Happily, we are seeing some ‘green shoots’ as events are being advertised for the second half of this year.

The pandemic resulted in us developing closer ties with customers, as we knuckled down together to respond and innovate. In one instance, collaboration afforded the opportunity to research. This has lead to us now onboarding a new inventory and shipping platform to streamline a new added value e-commerce fulfilment service to existing and new customers. Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Business Continuity Voucher was used to part fund the research and was very beneficial. 

Slowly but surely Social Enterprises are now able to access mainstream business supports which is critical for their development and sustainability. More needs to be done and thankfully Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI) is on the case and is advocating for the needs of the sector.

Training & Work Experience

Training is currently confined to Health & Safety in the Workplace to ensure that staff can work safely at a social distance. We are delighted to be able to offer Enhanced Skills Workplace Safety training funded through the generosity of the people of Ireland through the Community Foundation of Ireland Comic Relief Fund. This training and mentoring programme will be a fantastic addition to the CV’s of our training staff and improve their employability. As a consequence we also plan to develop online training infrastructure  to ensure that we have both the capability  to maintain training in challenging circumstances but also to promote greater IT skills amongst training staff.


The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has been a strong reminder of the need for flexibility in business and the value of collaboration. The unemployment rate now stands at over 20% when the PUP payment is factored in and an incredible 45% for those aged 15-24 years. Unfortunately our community on Dublin’s Northside will be disproportionately affected and will have higher unemployment rates than the national average. 

So, there is much work to be done in supporting people return to work through work opportunities, confidence building and skills acquisition. We will also continue to target those most distant from the labour market and are looking forward to developing our Kickstart Employment Programme, funded through the Dormant Account fund/POBAL and in collaboration with The Irish Prison Service, The Probation Service and The Department of Justice. 

We are as relevant now as a solution to long-term unemployment as we were when first founded 25 years ago. We will continue to work hard with all our partners, Government, State agencies, Local Development, Business and Philanthropy to respond timely and effectively in our local community. We would like to acknowledge in particular the additional resources we received in recent times to help us continue deliver our social impact, in particular from Government and POBAL through the Stability Fund, Rethink Ireland through The Social Enterprise Development Fund and long term Corporate Social Responsibility supporters Allergan PLC.  

Over the past year, while challenging, we have responded positively and shown our agility and resilience and continued value. Our experience of operating during the pandemic coupled with our 25 year history has strengthened our skills, outlook and resolve to continue helping local unemployed people to transform their lives, and the welfare of their communities, for the better.