Stories of

The Ripple Effect of Social Enterprise

The social return of employment social enterprise has been well-documented—$2.23 in benefits to society for every dollar invested. That return includes things like the increased income, less reliance on government programs, and taxes paid when a person is given the chance to work. Beyond the numbers, there is also a “ripple effect", which describes what happens when people whose lives were so transformed as a result of social enterprise, they dedicate themselves to helping others.

Some stories are exceptional. Like Kevin, who was once homeless and addicted to heroin. Today, he owns a social enterprise that earns $35 million a year and employs 35 people striving to improve their lives. But the less dramatic stories of success are no less inspiring. The social enterprise model works, providing the support, structure, skill development, and paying jobs that help people transform their lives and fulfill their potential. An impact so profound that it ripples beyond the individual—to their families, communities, workplaces, and ultimately, to our entire society. The Ripple Effect Campaign will tell those stories so that more people will know about and support the power of social enterprise to change lives, strengthen families, build community and, a better, more inclusive society. Check back regularly as we share more inspirational stories. Like what you see? Join the Ripple!

Jashawn's Story

JaShawn is a woman on a mission, paying her experience forward in a big way. After struggling with substance use and unstable housing for years, Cara, a REDF-supported social enterprise, provided her with the support and coaching she needed to fulfill her potential. Today, with a master’s degree in social work, she is a Youth Program Manager for the City of Chicago, counseling young people who have been impacted by violence. Read her blog: Woman on a Mission: Helping Others.

Dan's Story

Dan overcame addiction, rebuilt his family, and found his path to purpose with the help of REDF partner Farestart. Now he’s making a difference as a Farestart Chef Instructor. He’s sharing his passion for culinary arts and lessons from his own life to help students build a better future. Read his blog: Dan Tiffany's Recipe for Life.

Anthony's Story

Anthony is a remarkable young man who grew up in one of Los Angeles’ toughest neighborhoods, plagued by poverty, crime, and gang violence. With the help of REDF partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development, he stepped away from the gang lifestyle, and changed the trajectory of his life. Today he is a manager at CRCD, and a positive role model not only to the youth he works with, but to his young son and his community.

Join the Ripple!