Graeme Newell

Building a Social Enterprise with a Great CSR Program

There is no cast-in-stone recipe for a great social enterprise with a great corporate social responsibility program, but if there is one thing that levels out most of today’s world beating social enterprises, then it’s the fact that most of them focus on producing products that the world can’t do without, and attaching a great CSR program to the production line. This is exactly what Jessamyn Rodriguez did at Hot Bread Kitchen, merging her culinary passion and her desire to empower immigrant women economically to come up with a great culinary training program that somehow turns a profit.

This is a high potential social enterprise which has attracted a lot of attention from big and small collaborators alike, with a carefully crafted CSR program which is part of the enterprise’s DNA rather than an afterthought. Hot bread kitchen is making a great name for itself out of a very simple idea; Take some passionate bakers, get them onto a professional culinary training program targeting some underprivileged but focused learners. The result of this is a steady build-up of a skilled culinary workforce for the next generation, and some great emotional marketing benefits which bring in the bucks from customers who are keen to support the business due to its CSR program. Hot Bread Kitchen symbolizes a purpose-driven social enterprise that embodies Passion, Focus, Professionalism and Empowerment.

Hot bread kitchen is a great example of a CSR initiative that combines passion with a sense of community. It runs a kitchen incubator program which offers low cost space for local women entrepreneurs, running 9 rentable kitchens where 50 businesses are being incubated. The women feel at home in hot bread kitchen’s supportive environment and there is a palpable sense of common purpose among the trainees. The work that it does for immigrant women finds a soft spot in many people’s hearts, which drives in more customers, allowing the enterprise to draw some emotional marketing benefits.

Hot bread kitchen is just one of the many examples of purpose driven businesses reviewed in Red Goldfish, a book by Stan Phelps and Graeme Newell which focuses on teaching small businesses how to fit a higher purpose into their DNA which drives in and retains loyal customers. It’s a great read for anybody seeking to inject new lease of life into their business. Be sure to check out the links to the Red Goldfish book at the end of the video as well as ways to contact the authors for corporate speaking.

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Check out Graeme's latest book called "Red Goldfish"

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