Founded by English celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in 2002, Fifteen started out as an ambitious effort to offer disadvantaged youths (aged 18-24) a means of creating better futures for themselves through the art of good food. The restaurant initiative was named for the 15 young people who originally entered apprenticeships under this program. Since the first establishment opened, Fifteen has:
- Delivered delicious Italian food to patrons and opened two other restaurants in Amsterdam and Cornwall
- Trained 220 young locals in the art of cooking and hospitality and inspired many of its graduates to pursue successful careers in the restaurant business
- Reinforced the value of local produce and cooking techniques
While the concept may seem aggressive at first glance, the bullet jewelry line by Erik Spalding and Cole Evans was actually intended to promote peace and healing. The co-founders of Bullets2Bandages are both former US Navy bomb tech officers, and the line is created from real ammunition (demilitarized bullet casing, to be exact). “We are taking an instrument of war and turning it into a tool of healing” Erik explains.
In addition to creating a powerful visual symbol of transformation, Erik and Cole wanted to develop a social business, so a portion of their sales go toward the Travis Manion Foundation, which supports those who have been affected by war, from wounded veterans to their their loved ones.
The Bullets2Bandages brand includes necklaces and bracelets as well as a line of accessories like hats, t-shirts and a bullet bottle opener. A portion of all product sales go toward the non-profit, which was started in honour of Cole’s friend and fellow Marine Corps Officer who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
Talk about innovation: When Indosole founder Kyle Parsons traveled to Indonesia, he heard about landfills spontaneously combusting due to the amount of tires thrown in every year. In response, he created Indosole–a for-profit shoe company that creates stylish, hip sandals and shoes made from repurposed Indonesian motorcycle tires.
With every two pairs of shoes it sells, Indosole saves one tire from hitting the landfill. Additionally, Indosole creates sustainable local jobs with a clean, fair, and healthy working environment, and invests in the community of its Balinese workers by raising money for kids to attend school.
Set up in 1991, this magazine aimed to give homeless people a chance to earn an income, and use the content of the magazine for campaigning. Weekly, The Big Issue sells around 135,000 copies in the UK alone . The Big Issue Foundation is a registered charity providing support to people who sell the magazine and other homeless people. They link these people to help and advice, and try to solve the reasons that have caused their homelessness. The Big Issue works on a structure of selling the magazine to sellers for £1, who then sell it to the public for £2, keeping £1 for themselves.
The organisation is very proud of their values, and that they offer people a hand up to improve themselves, not simply a handout. In 2008 they won the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and are mentioned regularly as an excellent example of social enterprise, not only in the UK but other countries too. www.bigissue.com