Niall O’Brien and his colleagues last year initiated a social enterprise that made use of a dome in an abandoned eyesore, to plant lettuce heads via a hydroponic approach. Funds generated have since been channeled to the construction of a second Grow Dome, which is meant to increase supplies to a thousand heads per week. O’Brien says their undertaking has been particularly beneficial to the surrounding community, in that they mentor young men from community centers, instilling gardening
and creative arts skills.
The initiative is a constituent in Ireland’s emerging social companies which adhere to an operation framework based on both a for-profit franchise and a charity. The grey area facilitates more advantageous activities for the society at large.
Another perfect case study in the region is the Pace Social organization which distributes planter boxes. In a bid to negate cases of re-offending, the company employs recently released convicts. Profits from sales are not only designated to business operations, but also to other initiatives assisting in the reforming of ex-offenders.