Women’s Bean Project was one of three nonprofit organizations chosen in the Americas for a chance to win a $25,000 grant from J.P. Morgan and we need your support by voting for us! The “Give-it-Away” campaign runs from September 15, 2014 through November 15, 2014. Cast your vote today. Only one vote per valid email address.
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 for 25 years. 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 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 paycheck, while developing the work and life skills needed to function independently and effectively in the workplace and community.
Weekly classes on topics such as goal setting, budgeting, financial literacy, nutrition and empowerment promote growth in self-confidence, self-worth and responsibility. As well as, classes such as computer training, mock interviews and job search techniques impart crucial tools needed for employment. Through daily hands-on work in our food production and jewelry-making businesses, women gain the skills such as attendance, teamwork, positive attitude, conflict resolution and problem-solving that employers say they are not getting in entry-level applicants. Our community is enriched when we reduce chronic unemployment and dependence on assistance, and equip women to lead productive, self-sufficient lives.
Women’s Bean Project has served more than 700 women by providing stepping stones to career entry-level employment, self-worth and self-sufficiency. We’ve employed more women than ever before and improved our outcomes consistently—to a 77% graduation rate and 100% job placement rate.
And yet, our work is not done. There continue to be hundreds of women in our community whose lives would be transformed if we were able to hire them. There are children whose futures could be re-written if their mothers had the skills to get and keep employment. We believe after 25 years we have proven the model of running a business with tremendous social benefit and we are determined to do a better job of addressing the needs of marginalized women in our community.
A $25,000 grant from J. P. Morgan “Give-it-Away” campaign will help support operations and allow us to invest in our organization in significant ways. For instance:
We will invest in our jewelry-making business. This business needs a product line manager to help it grow and thrive. To date we have employed 30 additional women in this business with relatively modest sales. Growing this business by hiring a hands-on, full-time point person and investing in sales and marketing of the products will allow us to hire additional women.
Develop a piecework and fulfillment business for other companies, again, giving us the ability to hire more women.
Build a framework for expansion.
Heighten our capabilities and efficiencies through technology and capital investments.
After 25 years of operating a business with a social mission we find ourselves in the fortunate position of receiving national recognition for proving a viable model for transitional employment. We feel the time is now to increase our impact through growth.
With this $25,000 grant from J. P. Morgan, we will invest in Women’s Bean Project so the Bean Project can invest in more women and families in our community, helping them break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty.