What is a Social Enterprise?

CAN 1On Thursday 12th Nov, Janet Schofield and Stephan Clarke from Compass Advocacy Network (C.A.N) located in Ballymoney talked to our Year 11 Business students about operating as a social enterprise. Janet explained that C.A.N. was established in 1999 and its aim is to, ‘Enhance the lives and Create Change’ for people with learning disabilities and associated problems aged 12+.  The business recycles clothing, textiles, cardboard, aluminium cans and plastics.  They provide this service to many different companies where they will sort out your waste problem. In 2014-2015 the company processed over 90 tonnes of waste.  The social drive of the business gives people with learning difficulties the opportunity to experience a real work environment. They now work with over 140+ service users and employ 14 staff and sessional workers.  The business has a many different services, Can Can Recycle, Can Can Bazaar, Can Can Upcycle, Can Can Bubbles and Can Plus. All profit generated is ploughed back into the business to train the staff and fund a variety services such as Best Buddies NI, Adult Buddy Programme and many more.  Janet and Stephan delivered an extremely interesting talk that gave our students an insight into a different business model.  A business that of course needs profit to survive but also gives back so much more to society as a whole.  On the 28th November C.A.N. will be holding their Christmas Fair at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine.