Social Enterprise

Old Skool Café

Founded by a former juvenile corrections officer who felt the system did not provide enough supports to help troubled youth turn their lives around, Old Skool Café provides education and training to at-risk, urban youth aged 16-22.  The four-month program provides paid apprenticeships to youth at a 1940’s styled supper club, where participants gain marketable employment skills as hosts, servers, chefs, and entertainers. The enterprise also collaborates with other community organizations, businesses, and churches to provide youth with a web of support to ensure their success. Read more about Old Skool Café...

New Door Ventures

New Door Ventures prepares disconnected youth for work and life by providing skill-building, individual support, and paid internships that enable youth to discover and achieve their potential.  New Door runs two social enterprises—Ashbury Images, a screen printing and embroidery business, and Pedal Revolution, a bike shop—with the goal of being financially-sustaining while providing its youth clients with opportunities to succeed.  New Door also partners with over 40 businesses in the Bay Area to provide internships for additional youth.  In 2013, New Door provided 142 youth internships, and 99 percent of its graduates went on to new jobs or higher education.

RecycleForce

Based in Indianapolis, RecycleForce is a nonprofit that provides low and no cost comprehensive recycling services across Indiana.  It sells the scrap metals and other reusable materials that it collects, and uses the revenues to support job training programs, employment opportunities, and supportive services for formerly incarcerated men and women.  With a staff of two when the enterprise opened in 2006, it now has 125 hourly workers and 20 salaried staff, and is credited with processing more than 28 million pounds of material since its inception.  In 2013, the enterprise generated over $6 million in revenue, of which 31 percent came from recycling sales.

Rebuilding the Wall

Founded in 2001, Rebuilding the Wall rehabs vacant inner-city homes and sells them at below-market prices to low-income families.  The work is completed by volunteers and its own construction crew, RtW Construction, which aims to create quality jobs for community residents.  The social enterprise also provides affordable home repair services to generate additional revenues to support its rehab work. Read more about Rebuilding the Wall...

Kheprw Institute

Established in 2004, Kheprw Institute is a community empowerment center in downtown Indianapolis focused on helping youth and adults realize their full potentials and make positive contributions to the community.  Key to the Institute’s approach are its four social enterprises, which aim to help youth become self-driven and passionate social entrepreneurs. Read more about Kheprw Institute...

Ready, Willing & Able

Ready, Willing & Able is a central piece of The Doe Fund, a nonprofit founded with the mission to help the homeless lead independent and productive lives. Read more about Ready, Willing & Able ...

Liberty’s Kitchen

Liberty’s Kitchen is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of New Orleans youth by providing a path to self-sufficiency through food service-based training, leadership, and work-readiness programs.  The nonprofit’s training program targets at-risk youth age 16-24 who are out of school and work, and combines hands-on food service training with classroom instruction, individual case management, job placement services, and follow-up support. Read more about Liberty’s Kitchen...

Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below

March 26th, 2015
Washington, DC

The conference, sponsored by ONE DC and George Washington University, will bring together residents of neighborhoods throughout Washington DC, organizers, students, scholars, elected officials, and others who are engaged in efforts to create sustainable equitable grassroots development, and more opportunites for wealth accumultion for residnets of traditionally underserved communties.  Read more about Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below...

Youth Uprising (YU)

Youth Uprising (YU) aims to serve as a neighborhood hub, offering East Oakland youth programs designed to increase their physical and mental wellbeing, community connections, educational attainment, and career achievement.  To provide real-world employment experiences, it has four social enterprises, which include YU Eat (Corner’s Café), an onsite internet restaurant/café and catering service; YU Count, which offers IT, data input, enrichment, and analysis services to businesses and non-profits; YU Create, a media production company offering video production, soundtrack creation, and graph Read more about Youth Uprising (YU)...

The Stride Center

The Stride Center aims to help individuals and communities in the San Francisco Bay Area achieve self-sufficiency.  To do so, it provides comprehensive career services to help people with barriers to employment access careers in the technology economy.  It operates a social enterprise, ReliaTech, which offers low-cost technology support and tools to underserved communities while providing jobs and paid internships to Stride students and graduates, and 100 percent of its net income supports the Center’s operating expenses.  With four locations in the Bay Area, Strive enrolled 346 students a Read more about The Stride Center...

Peralta Service Corporation (PSC)

A subsidiary of the Unity Council, Peralta Service Corporation (PSC) aims to provide Oakland residents with on-the-job training and living wage employment, while providing the general public with reliable, reasonably priced, and eco-friendly public area maintenance services.  Specific services include pressure washing, litter and trash pick-up, graffiti removal, public space and common area maintenance, custodial services, light repairs, landscaping, and festival cleanup.  In FY 2012, PSC generated over $1.3 million in revenues to support the Unity Council’s programs. Read more about Peralta Service Corporation (PSC)...

Inner City Advisors

Inner City Advisors is a nonprofit technical assistance group that helps build sustainable and responsible businesses that create quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to building a strong and vibrant local economy. Since its founding, the group has helped to create and retain over 7,000 jobs in the Bay Area, creating or retaining 2,717 jobs in 2013 alone that pay an average hourly wage of $14.50 and generate over $68 million in total wealth for the local community. Read more about Inner City Advisors...

Esperanza Unida

Esperanza Unida was founded in 1971 to help Milwaukee residents become self-sufficient and bring greater prosperity to the Milwaukee South Side. To do so, the nonprofit group ran training programs in such areas as auto repair and sales, welding, metal fabrication and construction that doubled as businesses, and then used earned revenues to fund its operations. For decades, the organization was a national social enterprise leader, helping over 2,300 people obtain jobs and grossing over $2 million in earned income annually from business operations. Read more about Esperanza Unida...

Troop Café

Created in 2013 by the Center for Veterans Issues, a Milwaukee nonprofit that provides transitional housing and a range of supportive services to U.S. veterans, Troop Café serves affordable, healthy breakfasts and lunches to the general public while providing food service and hospitality training to Center clients. The Café is located in Veterans Manor, a $12 million, 52-unit apartment building for low-income veterans also run by the Center. All Café profits are funneled back into its job training program. Read more about Troop Café...

Coffee with Conscience

Owned and managed by the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), which provides business/financial education and access to fair capital to Wisconsin residents, Coffee with Conscience is a social enterprise that sells organic, fair-trade coffee and baked goods prepared by WWBIC clients in its two Milwaukee-based cafes. The enterprises’ revenues support 18 percent of WWBIC’s annual work. Read more about Coffee with Conscience...

Humboldt Construction Company

Created by Bikerdike Redevelopment Corporation to ensure its development work could create skilled job opportunities for community residents, Humboldt Construction Company is a social enterprise that serves as a full-service, general contractor and carpentry subcontractor specializing in residential and commercial construction, value engineering, and project planning and management.  Since its start in 1981, Humboldt has employed and trained over 100 local residents in living-wage union jobs.  The enterprise’s work, totaling $100 million in rehab and new construction projects, has created over 1,000 housing units in over 150 buildings, two transitional group homes, a community cultural center, a grocery store, and other retail space.  Moreover, through subcontracting relationships and the use of local suppliers, Humboldt helps sustain hundreds of additional living wage jobs and keeps money re-circulating in the community.

Whole Home

Whole Home is a social enterprise that provides home modification services to aging Cincinnati residents so that they can remain safely in their homes. All enterprise revenues are funneled into its parent nonprofit, People Working Cooperatively (PWC), which provides home repair, weatherization, modification, and maintenance services to low-income elderly and disabled homeowners in the Greater Cincinnati area. Since its establishment in 1975, PWC has provided services to more than 250,000 people.   Read more about Whole Home...

Green Recycling Works (GRW)

Launched in 2011, Green Recycling Works (GRW) is a social enterprise designed to provide transitional employment opportunities for graduates of City Gospel Mission’s resident drug treatment programs, generate revenues for the Mission, and improve Cincinnati’s physical environment. GRW generates revenues by contracting with companies that have recyclables they cannot handle and then by breaking down and packaging materials that cannot be resold. In addition to creating about 10 jobs, GRW diverts 200 tons of cardboard and 12 trailers of paper from area landfills each year. Read more about Green Recycling Works (GRW)...