Social Purpose Enterprises

Social Purpose Enterprises: Case Studies for Social Change

JACK QUARTER
SHERIDA RYAN
ANDREA CHAN
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt1287vsf
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  • Book Info
    Social Purpose Enterprises
    Book Description:

    Social Purpose Enterprises: Case Studies for Social Changepresents case studies of twelve organizations which operate in a growing niche within the Canadian social economy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6378-7
    Subjects: Business, Political Science, Sociology, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
    Jack Quarter, Sherida Ryan and Andrea Chan
  4. 1 Social Purpose Enterprises: A Conceptual Framework
    (pp. 3-24)
    JACK QUARTER, SHERIDA RYAN and ANDREA CHAN

    The primary purpose of a business is to make money for its owners through selling a product or service to consumers. However, within the last decade, there is a growing trend: a new concept of business that not only attempts to earn revenue from sales but also serves asocial purpose. This form of business goes by different labels: social business, social enterprise, and social purpose business. The label used in this book issocial purpose enterprise. We use this label because it combines the salient features of the organizations that are the subject of this book. These organizations have...

  5. Section A: Marginalized by Stigma
    • [SECTION A Introduction]
      (pp. 25-26)

      This part of the book contains four case studies: Common Ground Cooperative (Chapter 2), A-Way Express Courier (Chapter 3), Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training (Chapter 4), and Groupe Convex (Chapter 5).

      Common Ground Co-operative is an umbrella organization for five business partnerships of people with developmental disabilities (a catering firm called Lemon & Allspice Cookery, three Coffee Shed outlets, and a cleaning firm).

      A-Way Express Courier is an enterprise that employs seventy people with psychiatric disabilities, often part time as a supplement to their disability pensions.

      Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training has a small microcredit program for Aboriginal...

    • 2 Common Ground Co-operative: Supporting Employment Options
      (pp. 27-51)
      FRANCES OWEN, ANNE READHEAD, COURTNEY BISHOP, JENNIFER HOPE and JEANNETTE CAMPBELL

      A hundred years ago, the lives of persons with developmental disabilities in Ontario were circumscribed by the fears and misunderstanding of their fellow citizens, who saw them as a threat rather than as neighbours. Definitions of intellectual and developmental disability and the roles of persons with these labels have changed over the intervening decades. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) currently describes intellectual disability as “characterized by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning … and in adaptive behaviour, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18” (American Association on...

    • 3 When the Business Is People: The Impact of A-Way Express Courier
      (pp. 52-74)
      KUNLE AKINGBOLA

      This chapter examines the economic and social impact of A-Way Express (A-Way), a social purpose enterprise that operates a courier business and employs people with psychiatric disabilities. It draws on the concepts of human and social capital to offer insight into how the mission and operation of the organization impact the employees who are “ consumer-survivors” of the psychiatric system in Ontario. Specifically, the chapter addresses two related questions: What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that employees acquire through their work at A-Way? What are the social and economic benefits that are accrued by the employees? The concept of...

    • 4 Miziwe Biik Case Study: Microloans in the Urban Aboriginal Community
      (pp. 75-97)
      MARY FOSTER, IDA BERGER, KENN ROSS and KRISTINE NEGLIA

      In 1991, the Aboriginal community in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) established Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training Centre as a non-profit organization to address the community’s unique training and employment needs. Fifteen staff members offer employment programs, services, and resources (including counselling, community project training, skills development, work placement, and access to computers, Internet, and fax machines) that attract approximately one thousand client visits per month. In 2004, the Miziwe Biik Development Corporation was added to facilitate the economic advancement of the Aboriginal community within the GTA, and in 2007, the Aboriginal Business Resource Centre (ABRC) was established to...

    • 5 Groupe Convex: Measuring Its Impact
      (pp. 98-116)
      USHNISH SENGUPTA, CAROLINE ARCAND and ANN ARMSTRONG

      Groupe Convex (GC) is an innovative non-profit organization under which there is a group of diversified social purpose enterprises that employ people of various abilities from the rural community of Prescott-Russell in eastern Ontario, including people who are at great risk of unemployment. The term “convex” was selected because when individuals look into a convex mirror, they are magnified. The organization similarly aims to magnify their employees’ self-esteem by helping them to assume a valued role at work and to develop and maintain significant relationships with other members of their community. The intention of GC is to help the employees...

  6. Section B: Women on the Social Margins
    • [SECTION B Introduction]
      (pp. 117-118)

      Four of the case studies in this book – Inspirations Studio (Chapter 6), Alterna Savings (Chapter 7), Academy of Computer & Employment Skills (A.C.E.S.) (Chapter 8), and The Learning Enrichment Foundation (Chapter 9) – analyse social purpose enterprises that focus primarily on women on the social margins.

      Inspirations Studio was started in 1994 by Sistering, a non-profit agency serving homeless, marginalized, and low-income women in Toronto. The agency assists the women in supplementing their income. These women are semi-autonomous business people who benefit from Inspirations Studio’s support.

      Alterna Savings – the Community Micro-Finance Program is a primary source of finance for recent immigrants...

    • 6 Inspirations Studio at Sistering: A Systems Analysis
      (pp. 119-141)
      AGNES MEINHARD, ANNIE LOK and PAULINE O’CONNOR

      This chapter presents a case study of a social purpose enterprise, Inspirations Studio at Sistering, that is engaged in this highest form of charity: offering disadvantaged women an opportunity to create and sell their artistic products. Sistering/Inspirations is one of a growing number of social purpose enterprises that apply innovative means to resolve some of society’s pressing social, economic, and environ mental problems. As more and more non-profit organizations embrace the idea of “social enterprise,” much still needs to be understood about these enterprises. This case study uses a systems analytic, value-proposition framework to identify the elements and relationships necessary...

    • 7 Microentrepreneurs in Economic Turbulence: The Alterna Savings Micro-Finance Program
      (pp. 142-161)
      EDWARD T. JACKSON, SUSAN HENRY and CHINYERE AMADI

      In order to build the resilience that they need to prevail in difficult economic times, low-income women must have access to capital to create and sustain businesses and jobs for themselves and others. Microfinance is an important tool in making this happen. But microloan programs themselves must navigate in the same economic turbulence. These programs need to generate and utilize real-time, granular knowledge in order to adjust and improve as they proceed forward in uncertain and challenging conditions.

      This chapter reviews the five-year experience of a research partnership that sought to create and mobilize new knowledge to analyse and strengthen...

    • 8 Canadian Immigrants and Their Access to Services: A Case Study of a Social Purpose Enterprise
      (pp. 162-187)
      MARLENE WALK, ITAY GREENSPAN, HONEY CROSSLEY and FEMIDA HANDY

      The purpose of this chapter is to investigate facilitating factors and barriers to service utilization for an immigrant-dominated, low-income population. Using a case study of a social purpose enterprise that offers employment and skills-training programs to Canadian immigrants, we assess the factors that influence service seekers’ utilization of such training programs. We are especially interested in the utilization patterns of programs offered by, and managed as, a social purpose enterprise that competes in the marketplace with for-profit companies for clients and resources. This case study focuses on the Academy of Computer & Employment Skills (A.C.E.S.), a Toronto-based social purpose enterprise...

    • 9 Well-Being of Childcare Workers at The Learning Enrichment Foundation: A Toronto Community Economic Development Organization
      (pp. 188-212)
      ANDREA CHAN, ROBYN HOOGENDAM, PETER FRAMPTON, ANDREW HOLETON, EMILY POHL-WEARY, SHERIDA RYAN and JACK QUARTER

      Employees of childcare centres are paid poorly, both in Canada and internationally (Cleveland & Hyatt, 2000; Cleveland & Krashinsky, 2004; Cleveland, Forer, Hyatt, Japel, & Krashinsky, 2007; Payscale, 2012). Their salaries and benefits are not commensurate with their level of schooling or the importance of their work. Data for 2012 from the website,Living in Canada, indicates that the average wage for childcare workers in Greater Toronto, the location of this study, is $16.21 per hour, and the range is from $11.22 to $23.78. Data for 2012 fromPayscale, a website of self-reported salaries by industry and country, posts the...

  7. Section C: Urban Poor and Immigrants
    • [SECTION C Introduction]
      (pp. 213-214)

      The social purpose enterprises in Section C – FoodShare (Chapter 10), Furniture Bank/Furniture Link (Chapter 11), and the Northwood Translation Bureau (Chapter 12) – address the needs of the urban poor and immigrants.

      FoodShare, a leader in the promotion of healthy foods and related issues, houses a number of social purpose enterprises. The focus of this research was the Good Food Market, which sells quality produce, purchased from local farmers, to low-income neighbourhoods in the GTA.

      Furniture Bank/Furniture Link is a social purpose enterprise, founded in 1998, that obtains quality furnishings from individuals and businesses and makes them available to low-income families...

    • 10 Doing Markets Differently: FoodShare’s Good Food Markets
      (pp. 215-235)
      MICHAEL CLASSENS, J.J. MCMURTRY and JENNIFER SUMNER

      Raj Patel’s (2007) observation that roughly two billion people face catastrophic health issues related to food – half because they eat too few calories, and half because they eat too many – remains one of the most concise and compelling indictments of our contemporary food system. Patel is, of course, only one among a growing number of people who point out the pathologies built into the ways humans produce, distribute, and consume food (see, for example, Barndt, 2002; Corrigan, 2011; Das, Steege, Baron, Beckman, & Harrison, 2001; Friedmann & McMichael, 1989). From financial instability and marginalization (Corrigan, 2011; Qualman, 2011), to the...

    • 11 Stakeholders’ Stories of Impact: The Case of Furniture Bank
      (pp. 236-260)
      ANDREA CHAN, LAURIE MOOK and SUSANNA KISLENKO

      This chapter explores the impact of a hybrid social enterprise/social purpose enterprise through the eyes of its stakeholders. We were interested in understanding the impacts of the organization from different perspectives as well as garnering these stakeholders’ ideas for increasing that impact. The case study is organized in five sections: theoretical approach; a description of the organization; methodology; findings; and discussion.

      In order to frame our research approach, we have synthesized concepts from stakeholder theory and crowdsourcing. Traditional stakeholder theory is a theory of management that considers the interests, or “stakes,” of different groups involved in running an organization. It...

    • 12 The Complex Relation between a Social Enterprise and Its Parent Non-profit: The Case of Northwood Translation Bureau
      (pp. 261-282)
      JENNIFER HANN and DANIEL SCHUGURENSKY

      The Northwood Translation Bureau (NTB) is a social purpose enterprise that has operated in Toronto since 2006 under the umbrella of Northwood Neighbourhood Services (NNS), a non-profit settlement agency founded in 1982. This chapter presents our research on the economic and social impacts of the Northwood Translation Bureau, and it is based on in-depth interviews with twenty-one translators.¹ The chapter is organized in three sections. The first presents the institutional setting, the historical context in which the study was undertaken, and the profile of the research participants. The second discusses the impact of NTB and some concerns raised by participants....

  8. Section D: Youth
    • 13 Market-Based Solutions for At-Risk Youth: River Restaurant
      (pp. 285-305)
      RAYMOND DART

      This chapter analyses the River Restaurant, a social purpose enterprise in Toronto, which trained and supported at-risk youth. From Phnom Penh to Vancouver, restaurants that are social purpose enterprises – social purpose restaurants – are becoming increasingly common. Of course, there are different ways in which restaurant and food service organizations (including caterers, wholesalers, market gardeners, et cetera) can pursue social objectives. Farmgate enterprises, community-supported agriculture, “slow food,” bioregional food, and so on, are just a few of the ways in which restaurants can connect with community development and environmental sustainability issues.

      The research in this chapter is concerned with a subclass...

    • 14 Social Purpose Enterprises: A Modified Social Welfare Framework
      (pp. 306-320)
      JACK QUARTER, SHERIDA RYAN and ANDREA CHAN

      This book has presented findings on the impact of twelve distinct social purpose enterprises – or, in the case of microcredit initiatives, the organizations that created them. The research has focused primarily on the individuals working within these enterprises and whether their lives have improved. However, it has also examined the impact on other stakeholders such as the community and the sponsoring organizations. As noted in Chapter 1, even though there is a lot of enthusiasm for the social enterprise phenomenon, there are relatively few empirical studies that systematically investigate the experiences of participants in the type of enterprise discussed in...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 321-324)