We had a lecture on social enterprise and CSP (corporate social responsibility) recently. This was one of my favourite lectures to date. Although social enterprises are for profit, they are primarily driven by social objectives. I especially love to read about local start-ups. Cue Potluck Café and Catering.
They use the triple bottom line with sustainability in mind, during everyday operations – most of their supplies are 100% biodegradable, they compost all organic wastes and source food locally. Not only are they sustainable, but they ensure that residents in the Downtown Eastside are taken care of, by creating jobs and donating revenue to its community programs (including Community Kitchen and Jobs).
A few of their values include innovation, sustainability and acceptance. Their Café and Catering section was former in 2003, and provides all of their employees with life skills support, mentorship and additional connections to housing and mental health services. By having a commitment to build the economic growth of the community, they are creating shared value for themselves.
I applaud what Potluck is doing for the community. By reducing their ecological footprint, they are taking a step towards a healthier DTES. More than that, they are choosing to only hire the area’s residents, giving support and hope to those who may have had harder pasts. I sincerely hope more successful social enterprises appear in B.C. in the future.