We only ever wanted to found Paper Trail as a social enterprise but what is this?
Social enterprise is defined by Government as:
A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profits for shareholders and owners.
So Paper Trail generates profits to reinvest for a particular social purpose.
We have a clear sense of its social mission and that is to discover historical information relating to the conflict in Ireland and Britain, and to ensure that it reaches the families who need and deserve it.
This information in official archives may be upsetting, especially since it has been hidden for so long, but I believe that it is the families’ by right.
Business for Social Good
Paper Trail has its genesis in over a decade’s research which I performed in a personal pursuit for truth regarding the murder of his my own grandmother during the conflict.
Increasingly, we helped other families access information regarding the death of their loved ones, and worked closely with their legal representatives to help build their cases.
Unfortunately, more and more families will have to seek a measure of redress via the court system as the mechanisms for truth recovery offered by the state have failed. Yet again these families – from all sides of the community – have been badly let down by people who should be defending their basic human rights.
So Paper Trail will help families in their search for truth, and it is driven by a simple belief in human rights and social justice.
It was only natural that the profits it generates are reinvested to enable us to help other families, regardless of their background, religion or political beliefs.
We may have the opportunity to work with you soon too.
Ciarán MacAirt manages Paper Trail, an innovative charity and social enterprise which helps families unearth the truth hidden in public records.
He is also an author and family campaigner.