Along with determination and hard work, it takes a whole lot of love to run a successful social enterprise. In this post, we’re excited to feature the stories of three social enterprises that were built with lots of love at their very core.
1. Chocolates with a cause
Harry Specters make award winning chocolates and empower young adults with autism at the same time. For every £1 of profit they generate, 60p is set aside to further the social aims of the business and provide activities and opportunities for personal development for their employees. At Good Finance, we’re a big fan of their chocolates and an even bigger fan of their story.
We spoke to Founder, Mona Shah, who told us a more about the inspiration behind the business. “Our business is built on harnessing and celebrating the skills that autistic people have. I understand the challenges as our son, the inspiration behind Harry Specters, is autistic. However, once these neurodiverse skills are embraced and applied in an adapted working environment, it’s so rewarding seeing our chocolatiers feel a personal sense of achievement and a love for the product they have created. Bringing positivity to young autistic adults and their families is what drives us. By crafting a delicious product such as chocolate that most people love - this certainly puts a smile on all of our faces daily too”!
In 2018, Harry Specters secured £430,000 in funding with the help of ClearlySo to scale marketing and operational capacity to meet the growing demand, and in turn to create hundreds of more jobs for people with autism. They’ve also recently opened a shop in Cambridge, if you’re in the area and looking for a Valentine’s Day wander, be sure to stop by for some delicious chocolates!
2. Creative Optimistic Vision
Creative Optimistic Visions is a Community Interest Company providing alternative education, training, consultancy and mentoring services through the lens of the Protective Behaviours Process.
The purpose of the organisation is to positively influence the life choices of children, young people and adults who are increasingly vulnerable of being subjected to victimisation and abuse. They also support the professionals who work with them via their training and services.
Their Founder, Stacey-Jade Mason is driven by passion to create positive change for young people as well as her own real-life experiences. She told us at our last Good Finance Live event “I believe that everybody has the right to feel safe,and that we can talk with someone about anything - even if it is awful or small”.
With a blended package of support (£20,000 grant from UnLtd, £19,500 debt investment from Key Fund and a £500 family investment at 0% interest), Stacey was able to secure funding needed for the salary for two full-time members of staff and approximately 5 volunteers. This enabled them to increase service delivery and social impact, generating sustainable revenue from sales of services. Find out more about their revenue model and what they do here.
3. Macaroons that make a difference
Miss Macaroon provides pantone matched macaroons - perfect for weddings, parties and corporate events. Their Macaroons that Make A Difference training courses enable long-term unemployed young people to build their confidence and skills to become work ready. They train small groups of individuals aged 18 to 35 and tailor each eight week course to address their personal barriers to employment.
Founder Rosie Ginday told us more about what drives her, “I love what I do at Miss Macaroon, enabling long-term unemployed young people who need a helping, gain the skills they need to enter the world of work. I am driven by the experience of a close family member who was in Care and didn't receive the support he needed to achieve what he was capable of. I love seeing the strengths of our trainees and helping them to believe in themselves too through the Macaroons that Make A Difference training programme and one to one mentoring”.
Miss Macaroon received a couple of relatively small grants to set up their kitchen and since then Miss Macaroon have gone on to raise £70,000 in investment, which was matched with £50,000 by the Big Venture Challenge. Find out more about their social investment journey here.
Do you love what you do? Is there a passion or purpose that drives you? Tell us more about it by tweeting @GoodFinanceUK.