Coffee shop using community service-based business model
A Colorado coffeehouse managed to achieve rare success during the pandemic by using a community service-based business model to keep its entire staff employed.
you're trying to upend the way that we think about traditional business where profit is king, right? My name's Steph Francis. I'm the founder and executive director at Prodigy Ventures and Prodigy coffeehouse. We hire young adults from Denver who haven't found success in traditional school or work structures. First of all, they're being paid a living wage, but they're also getting hundreds and hundreds of hours of paid professional development. Technically, our model is called social enterprise, which means we are an organization that has this social mission. But we also have this revenue generating business and our overall general operating costs, um, are paid for by both the revenue from the business and um Foundation and Philanthropy and Donors. Way made a decision mid March to close our coffee house for two months, even though we didn't have revenues coming into the coffeehouse, we were able to be funded by some of our philanthropists and our our supporters and donors, who really doubled down on support. We were able to retain all of our staff and apprentices at that time. There is a movement in the past decade that social enterprises air becoming more prominent, and people are seeing that they're actually extremely key as you're looking at. How do we design an economy that's more equitable, like our community already has what it needs to be so powerful and successful and vibrant and soulful, and so we're just trying to create a space where those young people can come in and step into their inherent greatness.