Social Enterprise Recruit Refugees Crowned Irelands Friendliest Businesses 2021

15 Oct 2021 President Ireland By President Ireland

Social Enterprise Recruit Refugee Crowned Ireland’s Friendliest Businesses 2021

On Friday evening (15.10.21), at the JCI Ireland Friendly Business Awards Ceremony, with the attendance of the Mayor of County of Cork Councillor Gillian Coughlan, Cork-based social enterprise Recruit Refugees scooped the title of Ireland’s Friendliest Business 2021.

Recruit Refugees Ireland is the first specialist recruitment consultancy & agency for Refugees, Asylum Seekers & Migrants in Ireland. They understand the importance of an inclusive and diverse Ireland and believe the first step to successful inclusion is integration into the Irish jobs market for the Refugee and Asylum Seeker community. A job brings home much more than a pay cheque, it instils a sense of pride, hope, dignity and belonging. It opens the ability to forge new relationships and supports integration into local communities.


Speaking at the awards ceremony JCI Ireland President Carol Ho said: "SMEs are the backbone of our economy. I consider ourselves very fortunate to have such high-calibre 2021 Friendly Business Awards winners, energetic and friendly businesses that not only win their customer’s hearts and loyalty, but also contribute to a stronger Irish economy after the global pandemic."

The project was led by Laura Goci. On the night Laura said: “We all miss that wonderful feeling when we walk into any type of business and experience a service of warmth, care and friendliness. This event serves to honour those businesses that give us that feeling.”

Mayor of County of Cork, Councillor Gillian Coughlan, said: “Cork is delighted to support and host the JCI Friendly Business Awards 2021. Businesses who put their customers first ensure they are at the heart of their communities, creating a connection and a loyalty with their customers. It’s very important to recognize those local businesses.” Councillor Coughlan also read out a congratulatory letter from Taoiseach Micheál Martin to JCI Ireland National President Carol Ho for the success of National Convention 2021.

With the highest number of the public votes in the history this year, competition was once again fierce. In addition to the overall winner, the following 7 categories were further awarded:

  • Digital Experience Winner: Creative Spark, Dundalk
  • Digital Experience Runner Up: Fitzsimons Redmond Solicitors, Dublin
  • Customer Care Winner: Treebark Store, Galway
  • Customer Care Runner Up: Mischief Malahide, Fingal
  • COVID-19 Protection Winner: The Guinness Enterprise Centre, Dublin
  • COVID-19 Relief Assistance Winner: The Gym Ballina, Mayo
  • Community Impact Winner: Recruit Refugees, Cork
  • Eco-Friendliness Winner: Riley, Cork
  • Disability Access Winner: Byowave, Galway


In its 14th consecutive year, the JCI Friendly Business Awards serve to recognise the important role that SMEs play in the continuous development and improvement of our country. The project aims to award friendly businesses, ones that go that extra mile and provide outstanding customer service for their customers and their community. It is particularly important in this economic environment to highlight businesses that don't allow their standards to slip and continue to provide quality services.


The awards ceremony was hosted in the wonderful and unique St Peters church, Cork City. The MCs on the evening were Laura Goci & Patrick Rowe.