|Organization Name:||The Raw Carrot|
|Project Title:||Social Enterprise Franchise Expansion Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To expand the number of franchises of a social enterprise employing persons on disability.|
Even though Canada has so much wealth, there are people living on the margins. There are people that are functionally illiterate, others with learning challenges, some that grew up in families of abuse or neglect and some with physical limitations or living with mental illness. We all have something in common: the desire to live a purposeful life.
In addition to the challenges of meeting their basic needs, those who face barriers to employment suffer from social exclusion, poverty and a harm to dignity that accompanies a lack of participation in the paid work force and community life. That’s why the Raw Carrot came into existence…to provide meaningful employment for individuals on social assistance who want to, and CAN, work.
The Raw Carrot envisions a world where people are employed and able to meet their own basic needs. We believe that a sustainable “Hand Up” is way more awesome than a handout!
We hire individuals on the Ontario Disability Support Program to cook and package handcrafted gourmet soup that is sold in farmers markets and gourmet grocery stores in local communities. Sales of our healthy soup provide permanent employment for those working at the Raw Carrot.
Are you tired of hand-outs that perpetuate the cycle of dependency and don’t lead to long term change? We are too! We want to see lasting change. There are almost 1 million people on social assistance in Ontario. Half of those are on long term disability support. The problem is…many want a job! They want the dignity of work but have been unable to secure a job in the traditional workforce due to their disability. The Raw Carrot provide supportive, long-term employment specifically for people on disability support. Our volunteers mentor and support the staff to successfully hold down a paid job. We don’t ask for ongoing donations to support the site once it’s running – employment is supported through sales of soup.
Our first Raw Carrot site provides 8 permanent, part-time jobs (with room to grow to 12). Staff earn approximately 25% more per month on top of their disability stipend and report an increase in confidence, skills and quality of life through paid work.
Due to the success of our first site, we’d like to provide more employment through sharing our model! We are currently piloting 2 Raw Carrot locations in partnership and we have 5 more interested organizations. In order to effectively expand, we plan to develop legal and social franchise structures, increase sales pathways and diversify sources of income which will set us up for success over the long term. To do this, we will increase the hours of 1 current staff member and hire a specialized sales and development consultant for 1 year to specifically focus on development of the Raw Carrot “Hub”. Outcomes will be reported over 18 months to reflect growth and impact over time.
We plan to launch 10 additional sites within the next 5 years, providing 130 permanent jobs.
- 3 specific pieces of legal and social franchise documentation (Memorandum of Understanding, trademarks and franchise manual) will be developed in the next 12 months.
- 2 additional Raw Carrot sites (16 jobs) will be launched within 18 months
- 3 new sales pathways will be identified that will benefit all franchise sites and grow sales by 15% per site within 18 months
- 2 new sources of funding will be introduced in order to diversify revenue streams and raise an additional $15,000 within 18 months.