Women’s Bean Project is a nationally-recognized social enterprise that has created transitional employment in gourmet food and jewelry manufacturing for chronically unemployed and impoverished women since 1989. Our business is designed to provide immediate income, arrange support services to overcome barriers to employment, and teach the job readiness and life skills needed to find and keep full-time, career entry-level employment.
Women’s Bean Project strives to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by helping women learn to work by working. Women earn a steady wage, while developing the work and life skills needed to function independently and effectively in the workplace and community.
Most women the Bean Project employs have histories of addiction and incarceration. The combined cost of a criminal conviction and one year of incarceration can exceed $70,000. Women’s Bean Project’s program, by comparison, costs just $15,000, including wages. Employment is the key to decreasing returns to prison. The number one indicator for re-arrest is being unemployed in the year prior to the arrest.
THE WOMEN WE SERVE
The women who come to Women’s Bean Project often have multiple barriers to finding employment, lack hope and self-confidence, and need a chance to create a new future. They come from backgrounds of chronic unemployment and poverty. Many are single mothers with an average age of 36 and 3 children and have been on public assistance. Many have recovered from histories of incarceration, substance abuse or domestic violence.
Historically, women served by Women’s Bean Project share the following characteristics:
- 100% live below the federal poverty line
- 90% lack saleable job skills
- 80% are women of color
- 80% have felony records
- 80% have histories of public assistance
- 80% have histories of incarceration, substance abuse and/or domestic violence
- 70% lack stable housing
- 70% are single-heads of households
- 65% have no high school diploma or GED
On average, 70% percent of women will graduate the Bean Project’s program and move to career-entry-level jobs in the community. This stepping stone creates new tax payers and will lead the women to a decreased need for public services—a win-win for our communities.
Income earned from product sales generates approximately 70% of our operating revenue, with the remaining 30% coming from foundations, individual donors, corporations, churches, and organizations.
Your donation enables Women’s Bean Project to maintain the high level of service and innovative programs for the approximately 60 women we serve each year.
If you are interested in applying for our program, please stop by Women’s Bean Project at 3201 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to fill out an application. No online applications are accepted. Click here for more information.