Profit and
Purpose

Employment Social Enterprise

Employment social enterprises are competitive, revenue-generating businesses with a clear social mission: they hire, train, and support people who are striving to overcome employment barriers including homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse, mental illness, and limited education.

It’s that unique combination of a paying job and supportive services that makes the difference. Depending on the needs of the employees, those services might include strengthening workplace skills like communication with supervisors and peers, classes on time management, computer proficiency, or industry certifications like forklift or SERVSAFE; or help with childcare, transportation to work, or financial literacy, or mental health counseling.

Social enterprises are real businesses selling a wide variety of goods and services in the competitive marketplace—everything from aerospace manufacturing to electronics recycling, and property management.

The talented entrepreneurs who run social enterprises are exceptional men and women. To succeed, they have to be savvy business people who can balance profit and purpose. Their dedication to providing people who are striving to transform their lives with the jobs, and the support they need to succeed is a continual source of inspiration to all of us at REDF.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these short video interviews with the men and women who run the social enterprises REDF works with and read the blog series, “The Business of Social Enterprise.”

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