Social Enterprise

Verde Community Farm and Market

Located at Verde Gardens, a supportive housing community for formerly homeless families run by the nonprofit Carrfour Supportive Housing, Verde Community Farm and Market is a 22-acre organic-certified fruit and vegetable farm established in 2013 to provide employment opportunities, job skills training, educational outreach, and healthy, fresh produce for Verde Garden residents.  In 2015, the project added a restaurant component, Verde Kitchen Café, which serves products grown on the farm and provides additional job opportunities. As of 2015, Verde Community Farm and Market employed 15 people.  All of the enterprises’ revenues support the health, financial, and psychological services offered by Carrfour to Verde residents.

Democracy Collaborative In Left Forum

Between The Lines
Left Forum

At Left-Forum—co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative—Gar Alperovitz discusse building the Pluralist Commonwealth and "the Resitance" in 2017...listen here

Best Practices for Social Value Procurement

Tessa Hebb and Heather Hachigian
Carleton Centre for Community Innovation

While a growing number of institutions are recognizing the need to integrate social, economic, and environmental values into their purchasing decisions, few actually evaluate and measure these values, limiting the uptake of this approach. This new paper from the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation reviews existing social value procurement frameworks, including Cleveland’s Greater University Circle Initiative, and puts forwards common themes and lessons learned. Read the full paper here.  

Help Us Grow (HUG)

Launched by Covenant House Georgia to provide training and job opportunities to the homeless and trafficked youth it serves while generating revenues for its programs and strengthening Atlanta’s local food system, Help Us Grow (HUG) sells starter plants to community gardens and gardeners across Atlanta. The nonprofit’s garden site, which includes native woodland, tranquility gardens and recreational areas, also aims to provide a safe, secure place for the youth it serves.  HUG expects to sell thousands of organic, non-GMO vegetable seedlings to fire station gardens, community gardens, and local residents.

First Step Staffing

Aiming to help ensure people struggling to break out of poverty have a permanent, reliable path towards success, First Step Staffing focuses on helping military veterans and those transitioning from homelessness and/or incarceration to secure steady, sustainable income.  To do so, the nonprofit staffing agency places its clients in a range of semi-skilled and entry-level position, and uses 100 percent of its revenues to provide clients with wrap-around services, including job and life coaching, transportation, and housing assistance.  Since its establishment in 2007, the nonprofit has supported more than 7,500 people.

Second Chances

Second Chances aims to help individuals in recovery develop the skills they need to secure employment and become self-sufficient.  The nonprofit’s program is centered around its social enterprise, Second Chances Cleaning Services, which provides over 110 people a year with on-the-job training.

Chronicling the Lives of the Working Poor Across America

The Leonard Lopate Show

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and Columbia Journalism School professor Dale Maharidge crossed the country to chronicle the lives of today's working poor, from farmworkers in southern California fighting against low wages and a devastating drought, to heroin stricken communities in northern Maine that have been abandoned by industry. His story, “American Ballad: A Photographic Chronicle of America's Working Poor,” marks the 75th anniversary of James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. It was published in the December issue of Smithsonian Magazine...listen here 

EMERGE Connecticut, Inc.

EMERGE Connecticut, Inc. helps formerly incarcerated people and at-risk youth in the Greater New Haven area return successfully to their families and neighborhoods.  To do so, the social enterprise provides its participants with paid, part-time training in its construction, landscaping, and property management business as well as wrap-around support services.  Since its establishment in 2011, more than 225 people have completed its program.

Social Entrepreneurship in Action: A White Paper Examining Prospects for Program Development

llinois Community Action Development Corporation

 The project scope focused on identifying opportunities, needs and gaps in ICADC’s and to some extent IACAA, IVCA’s programs and services to support earned income and social enterprise development within the network of 40 Community Action Agencies.