WHAT IF A
FURNITURE STORE AND LANDSCAPING COMPANY
COULD DISRUPT THE
CYCLE OF POVERTY
IN SNOHOMISH COUNTY
WHAT IS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE?
There are many existing and evolving definitions of what a Social Enterprise is. We believe one of the best definitions comes from the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA), a member organization supporting 900+ social enterprises:
“Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.”
Three characteristics distinguish a social enterprise from other types of businesses, nonprofits and government agencies:
It directly addresses an intractable social need and serves the common good, either through its products and services or through the number of disadvantaged people it employs.
Its commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within a nonprofit’s mixed revenue portfolio, or a for profit enterprise.
The common good is its primary purpose, literally “baked into” the organization’s DNA, and trumping all others.
OUR APPROACH TO FIGHTING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY
HopeWorks job training programs are provided through three social enterprise businesses rooted in three different industries: landscaping, food service and retail. Each of HopeWorks’ social enterprise internship programs are designed to give homeless and low-income individuals the life skills they need to move from long-term unemployment to careers in in-demand fields that offer reliable pathways out of poverty.