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Awarded by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

We are feeling proud and encouraged to be among 5 social enterprises selected for the 2022/23 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Impact Programme this year.

It's unusual for a buy-sell, product-focused social enterprise like Jiminy to be chosen by programmes like this. So we're delighted SEI saw how our activism may be different, but it's equally brave and important.

 At the final pitch, the panel asked, "You're a for-profit retail business. Why are you here (applying for this programme)?" My answer was, "If we existed to make profit, everything about our store would be different:

  • We'd stock the made-in-China plastic wrapped in plastic toys that are more profitable; the TV-advertised ones that are easier to sell;
  • We wouldn't answer 25 questions about each product - where made, what from, what packaging, whether organic/vegan/recyclable, etc. We would just write, "Lovely teddy" 😂;
  • We wouldn't refuse to stock toys because of a plastic bag or shrinkwrap;
  • We wouldn't spend time explaining bioplastics, or demystifying where bins go;
  • We wouldn't encourage behaviour that reduces our revenue like fewer toys / preloved / repair / reuse / buying sustainable toys from mainstream retailers;
  • I wouldn't be starting / joining associations to spark change in the global toy industry;
  • We'd use the cheapest packaging, not the most sustainable;
  • I would be much better paid.

I adore what I'm doing with Jiminy! I couldn't not-do it! But it's also hard going against norms to change an industry.

So support from our community (you!) means so very much. Thank you for encouraging us, telling friends / family, and choosing us for your toys / craft supplies / books / gifts!

And being accepted by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland this week means a lot too.

The other social enterprises on the programme with us are:

  • DcodeDyslexia – Mary Moran: a structured literacy reading programme for dyslexic students, their parents and schools.
  • Hair Together – Eileen McHugh: a personal development programme, which uses the art of hairdressing and barbering to reach and engage with young people who have not yet reached their full potential through mainstream education.
  • The B!G Idea – Kim Mackenzie-Doyle: a creative education initiative programme for 15-16 year-olds bridging the gap between industry and education by having students work on projects solving social issues.
  • The Two Norries – James Leonard & Timmy Long: A podcast which uses personal stories, humour, and sensitive down-to-earth advice themed around crime, mental health, addiction and social and health issues

As Ireland's eco toystore we exist to inspire a playfully sustainable world...thanks to everyone who's choosing to be part of that mission.

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