1. WHAT IS A BUSINESS? A business is any organisation set up to provide goods and services. A business can be commercial or non-commercial. Commercial businesses provide goods and services to make a profit for the owners. Eg. Volkswagen Non-commercial businesses (also known as social enterprises or not-for-profit businesses) exist to meet some needs other than making a profit. Eg. Charities such as Trócaire.

2. WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN A BUSINESS? Stakeholders are the different groups of people who are directly affected by how a business is run.
Business stake holders are: • Entrepreneurs • Investors •Employees •Managers •Producers •Customers •Suppliers •Government

Entrepreneurs: are people who take the initiative to turn an idea into a business.

Investors: are the people who provide a business with the finance it needs. The finance can come from owners capital, loan capital, banks or grants.

Employers recruit staff to work for them.

Employees are recruited by businesses to assist in the business in return for a wage.

Managers are the people responsible for running the business and achieving its goals.

Producers are the businesses that make products to sell to consumers.

Suppliers are the businesses that supply the raw materials needed by the producer.

Customers are people who purchase goods from a business for their own use or for resale to others.

Consumers are a type of customer who buy goods and services purely for their own use, not for resale.

Society refers both to the local community where the business is located and to wider society; both nationally and globally.

Government refers to the local and national authorities that set the rules and regulations by which businesses must operate.

3. WHAT ARE INTEREST GROUPS? Interest groups are organisations representing the people (or stakeholders) who share a common interest or goal. Lobbying refers to a deliberate effort by an interest groups to influence decision-makers by promoting a particular point of view.

Business interest groups represent the interests of businesses, eg. IBEC and Chambers of commerce.

Trade associations are business interest groups that represent businesses involved in similar types of activities. Eg. SIMI and FDII

Trade Unions are organisations that represent the interest of employees in a business on issues concerning pay or conditions of employment. Eg. SIPTU and ICTU.

The National Consumer Agency is a State agency set up to ensure consumers are aware of their rights and that legislation protecting consumers is obeyed.

The Consumers Association of Ireland represents and lobbies on behalf of consumer interests.