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Live Q&A: Soc ent recyclers – tell the world how you did it, 13 July, 1200 – 1400 BST

Category : Business

Join us on Friday 13 July to find out from our expert panel how to run a successful recycling social enterprise

Recycling goods – and reselling them – is a popular form of social enterprise. It can often deliver many forms of social impact: reducing waste, providing employment for marginalised groups, and giving poorer communities access to consumer goods.

But it’s also a crowded field, with competition from mainstream business – and social enterprises have problems trying to scale up.

In this live Q&A we’ll take a look at:

• opportunities in this sector for social entrepreneurs
• barriers to scaling up, and how best to overcome them
• successful recycling social enterprises – and how they did it.

You can read about a couple of success stories ahead of the live Q&A on the links below:

• Brighter Future Workshop, recyclers of mobility equipment and winners of the Guardian Social Enterprise Award 2011, featured on our network earlier this year.
• Recycle-IT – a community interest company and one of the largest UK-wide not-for-profit IT recyclers – were one of the featured companies from our social enterprise directory last month.

Do get in touch if you’d like to be a panellist – email Joe Jervis for more details.

Also, if you’d like to leave a question, please do so in the comments section below, or come back to ask it live – and follow the debate – on Friday 13 July, 1200 – 1400 BST.

Remember – in order to be on the panel and also to participate, you need to register as a member of the Guardian social enterprise network, and log in. Click here to register.

Panel of experts

Nikki DiGiovanni – national co-ordinator, ScrapstoresUK

Nikki has been working with scrapstoresUK since 2010 and has developed the charity into a thriving network that connects the 90+ scrapstores across the UK. These independent scrapstores are run for community benefit by staff and volunteers who divert waste from businesses that would be destined to end up in land-fill and distribute it to schools and over 74,000 community groups to use for arts, crafts and play. As well as the fun, every year scrapstores prevent thousands of tonnes of waste from being burned or buried and make a huge impact on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

Alex Harvey – manager, Giveacar

Alex Harvey is a manager at Giveacar. He studied European History at Manchester University, graduating in 2009 – then working overseas in China and for an NGO in Brussels before joining Giveacar in 2011. Giveacar is a not-for-profit social enterprise that raises money for charity by accepting donations of old cars. Launched in January 2010, it was the first service of its kind in the UK and allows charities to tap into a brand new source of funds.

Benita Matofska – founder and chief sharer, People Who Share

Benita Matofska is a former TV executive, social innovator, social entrepreneur and the founder and chief sharer of The People Who Share, a social enterprise dedicated to building a Sharing Economy. The People Who Share are the company behind the first one-stop destination for the sharing of resources and National Sharing Day.

Jenelle Montilone – creative activist and designer, TrashN2Tees

Inspiring others to consume less and recycle more with her sustainable handmade wares, Jenelle has been able to divert more than 2.5 tonnes of clothing/textiles from the landfill. Her business recently expanded to include clothing recycling collections with local agencies and organizations in her own community as well as hosting DIY upcycling/repurposing workshops. In November she will be releasing an app & hosting the create Change. Pledge event, instigating a movement that will change the way we consume and create. Twitter: @TrashN2Tees

Emma Hallett – operations manager, RElliance

Emma is the operations manager of REalliance. REalliance supports and represents social and community enterprises working to use and manage resources sustainably. She previously was general manager at the Community Recycling Network and managed a three year capacity building programme for social enterprises in the reuse/recycling/composting sector. Twitter: @ReallianceEmma

Robert Jones-Mantle – company secretary, Magpie Recycling Co-operative

For two decades Robert, as a member of the Magpie Recycling Co-operative, has rescued thousands of tonnnes from landfill which has itself created significant empowered employment. Our model has evolved from a from a time when there was little service provision for businesses and households wanting to be smart with their waste to the present where all waste firms claim to be smart with your waste. Find some community owned solutions at the or at

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To join the social enterprise network, click here.

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