Building a social enterprise: a great local story: Chill Café
April 1, 2014
So we’re sitting in the office today with around 20 case studies that have been submitted to the team from around the world when we take a look at a social enterprise that was established back in 2009.
It may sound simple enough in terms of a proposition but in essence it reinforces our blog post from yesterday which set the scene for defining social entrepreneurship:
“The pursuit of an opportunity to create pattern breaking-social change regardless of the resources you currently control.”
With high youth unemployment rates across Australia’s regional coastal communities the prospect of opening a café called Chill has (and is having) the desired effect you would expect of a social enterprise.
Also, it has history so you will be able to measure the effects with the original stated objectives. Thank you to the team for sending the following story in: MRNC CHILL AT EVANS CAFÉ STORY The Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre opened Chill at Evans Head in 2009 as a social enterprise with an adjoining Youth Service to provide a small community (that had limited employment prospects) employment and training opportunities for young people so that they could gain skills and experience workplace learning in a safe culturally appropriate workplace and at the same time provide a safe place for young people to socialise and access information.
The purpose of Chill Cafe is to train and therefore make employable young people that might in the first instance have barriers to gaining employment in the average workplace. We also offer school based traineeships & work experience placements to “disengaged” kids to give them some direction, positive mentoring & to work with their educators to “keep them in school” We aim to discover, inspire & showcase the talent of young people & are a point of contact, mediation and positive role modelling between young people and the wider community.
We have space for young people to hang out and access our youth services that will ultimately improve their access to information and referral to other services depending on their needs.
This central youth hub also gives Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre staff access to young people in order to consult about their needs, goals and aims. Chill Cafe over five years, has since evolved to be inclusive of other diverse members of our community who have also experienced limited employment & training opportunities- long term unemployed, people with disabilities, Aboriginal community members & providing flexible working hours for single working parents.
We aim to improve the community capacity of the community as a whole by promoting, assisting with information and referrals to the wider community about other services provided by the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre and other relevant organisations, not to mention being a great place to relax and enjoy our friendly Cafe experience! We are a Café that provides and promotes fresh, local, healthy and innovative food at affordable prices.
We produce and encourage more nutritionally balanced take away options for our customers. We also cater to functions large and small and have multiple collaborative partnerships with local schools, Playgroups, meals on wheels, community garden and local Council.
The income generated from Chill Cafe primarily affords us to employ skilled workers to pass on their knowledge and skills to other staff and traineeships. This provides a meaningful and relevant work experience at industry standards that will be of real benefit to all involved in future endeavours. Any profit is funnelled back into the youth services and related activities.
There is a sense of ownership of the Chill Cafe amongst the youth, the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre staff and management committee and the wider community- belonging to something unique and positive.
Find out more: http://www.mrnc.com.au/page/chill-cafe
Join the Chill on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chill-at-Evans-Cafe/1406136092983192?ref=hl
State Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis with Kiana Butler and Daena Collins-Donlon from the Chill Cafe at Evans Head and Michelle Yates from the Mid-Richmond Neighbourhood Centre. Photo Contributed
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