The Socialpreneur - Marketing With Social Consciousness
Social Consciousness + Entrepreneur = Socialpreneur
The Socialpreneur - - Social Consciousness in Action
When you were a kid, you were probably a socialpreneur. To help your school or church or youth group, you may have sold chocolate bars door-to-door. People bought them, even if they didn't like chocolate; because they knew the money would go to support a worthy cause. Both seller and purchaser are examples of social consciousness in action.
Today's socially conscious entrepreneurs, socialpreneurs, are
elevating that door-to-door fund raising spirit into full time
businesses. Some of their businesses are created specifically to put unemployed, disadvantaged and underemployed individuals to work. Some sell merchandise designating disadvantaged groups as beneficiaries of their profits. Others market goods to supplement the budgets of existing social service programs.
Sarah Center - Inner City Women Earning Income
When Catholic nuns, Sister Jeanette and Sister Evelyn, came to Cincinnati's inner city in 1989, they weren't planning to become socialpreneurs. Sister Jeanette just wanted to create a place for inner city women to get away from every day hardships.
A Cup of Coffee and More
When she opened non profit Sarah Center as part of the Saint Francis Seraph Outreach Ministries, she began offering inner city women a cup of coffee, snacks, a safe place to talk and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. She added an enrichment program with monthly outings to plays, museums and the opera; and she began a crafts program with crochet, quilting and jewelry making.
When someone suggested they sell their jewelry creations at a local outdoor market, it sparked a full fledged business.
A Simple Business
The Sarah Center jewelry program is simple. The center supplies the materials, tools, instructions and arranges sales opportunities. The women make jewelry and receive 60% of the price when their items sell.
Sarah Center jewelry sells at Cincinnati arts and craft shows, special events and gift shops, including the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Many of the Sarah Center women have learned enough to teach classes themselves. To encourage individual entrepreneurs, the center also offers a 10 week businesses program.
Women's Bean Project Products on Amazon
The Women's Bean Project
In 1989 Jossy Eyre, a volunteer with homeless women, decided the women needed more than temporary help. She purchased 500 dollars worth of beans, put two women to work repackaging them and began growing a thriving business.
Since then, the Women's Bean Project has helped break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by providing "stepping stones to self-sufficiency" for Denver, Colorado women.
Today the Women's Bean Project is more than just beans. They've added jewelry; and they've also expanded their online food product offering to include salsa mixes, spice rubs,
coffee beans, soups, jelly beans and more. The women also sell their products in grocery stores and the business operating budget has grown from $6100 to 1.5 million.
The Socialpreneur Trend
- NightLight International
NightLight offers employment and skills to women and children exploited by the sex industry.
- Welcome to Thistle Farms - Home
Thistle Farms creates candles, balms and sachets - products that promote hope through healing.
- Sarah Center on Facebook
Sarah Center women earn income with the jewelry they create.
- Women's Bean Project | where a woman earns her future
What started out as a simple idea to help homeless women has grown into a thriving Denver business.
Emily Hill Local Socialpreneur
Full Circle Threads - "Building Families Through Shirts"
Not Always a Non Profit
Individuals are creating businesses with that same sense of social consciousness. While they are not non profits, some support causes by selling items that benefit disadvantaged groups.
Stop Traffick Fashion
Emily Hill's Stop Traffick Fashion is a socially conscious business that helps fight human trafficking. Emily sell bags and jewelry purchased through Night, International, a company that sells goods created by sex trade escapees in Calcutta, India and Bangkok. She also sells soaps and lotions from Not For Sale, a group that supports modern day abolitionists.
Full Circle Threads
This company creates tee shirts with designs provided by poor and orphaned children. A portion of the proceeds go to help these disadvantaged children. The current line is based on designs from children in India.
More by this Author
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In 2010 the controversial "Big Butter Jesus" statue burned to the ground after it was struck by lightning. "Hug Me Jesus," it's replacement, is now standing tall in the same spot.
Cincinnati has its own piece of world history--- a section of the Berlin Wall. You'll find it at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center near the entrance that faces the Ohio River.