In November and December 2017, we were invited to join several other inspiring social enterprises at Christmas Fairs in corporate offices across London selling our latest African fashion wear.
Kitenge Store’s founder, Sian, standing behind our stall at PwC’s Social Enterprise Christmas Fair wearing one of our African print tops
From RSA’s boardroom in the landmark Walkie Talkie building to PwC’s staff restaurant in their More London Riverside office near Tower Bridge, the fairs were a great opportunity for social enterprises to showcase their products. It even started to snow during one of the fairs, which really got us in the festive mood!
All of the companies (RSA Insurance Group, PwC professional services firm and Linklaters law firm) are corporate supporters of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, of which our founder, Sian, is a fellow after graduating from their Fellowship course in March 2017.
Sian collecting her Certificate of Fellowship from Alastair Wilson, CEO, School for Social Entrepreneurs
This blog post introduces you to some the other fantastic social enterprises, supported by these companies and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and highlights the fantastic work that they do!
Alive & Kicking
Alive & Kicking make durable sports balls in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. They provide local employment; teach young people how to play football and raise awareness of diseases such as HIV and malaria through sport.
Art Box London
The Art Box work with people with learning disabilities to create, exhibit and sell their own art work providing them with an income. They also run workshops and organise trips to museums, libraries and galleries.
Cafe Art showcases artwork created by people who are homeless or socially vulnerable in over twenty independent cafes across London.
They also run a photography contest each year by giving the homeless 100 disposable cameras. The winning photographs are published in a calendar and displayed in an exhibition, which raises money for homeless charities.
The winners are paid for their photographs; they can also sell the calendar themselves and receive training in photography by the Royal Photographic Society. The project also helps to increase their confidence and self-esteem.
Harry Specters make delicious chocolates that create employment opportunities for young people with autism. They are involved in every process from making and packaging the chocolates to administration, design and photography. Profits from the business go towards social activities, personal development and training.
Stand 4 Socks
Stand 4 Socks sells comfortable, good quality socks made from bamboo that support 12 global causes. These include providing education for children, a family with clean access to water and helping the homeless. Each pair of socks supports a different worthy cause.
The Soap Co
Soap Co create luxury, eco-friendly hand and body soaps that are handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. They use only natural ingredients in their products, which are never tested on animals.
Toast beer is made using unsold loaves of bread from bakeries and unused crusts from sandwich makers. This helps to reduce the 44% of wasted bread in the UK alone. All profits go to an environmental charity called Feedback, which campaigns to help end food waste.
Our founder, Sian, set herself a challenge to buy all her Christmas gifts in 2017 from social enterprises so that the money spent went to good causes and helped small communities. It was a pleasure to meet all the people behind these social enterprises and to help support their causes.
To find out more about social enterprise take a look at the Social Enterprise UK website and the related articles below. Please also help to share this post with any aspiring social entrepreneurs out there!
How to set up a Social Enterprise
Bringing Ethical Tanzanian Fashion to the World
Kitenge Fashion Show at School for Social Entrepreneurs Graduation Event!
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