What is a Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise is a business whose sole purpose isn’t to make profit, but any profits made are invested into the community. Birmingham has recently received social enterprise status, so we are not alone in our social mission. We pride ourselves on producing products that do good alongside offering a supportive workplace, a fair wage and training opportunities to those that need it most.
What began as a let’s see what happens opportunity when we were given the bottom floor of a derelict pub to work with in early 2017, has turned into 2 successful coffee shops, an event space available to hire and over 20 local young people gaining on average 5 qualifications and employment through our programme.
Of course, it hasn’t quite been a walk in the park. With (a lot of) friendly faces, helping hands and generous contributions we turned the old Adam and Eve pub in Digbeth, Birmingham into Evolve @ The Adam and Eve: a social enterprise coffee shop supporting local young people who have faced barriers to employment.
Working with Aquarius, a midlands based recovery charity, in their young people’s drug and alcohol misuse service; we recognised that the leap from going through adversity to having the confidence and ability to gain training and employment could be huge for some.
We believe that tailored employment opportunities, coupled with a supportive and understanding workplace, can be crucial for people to make sustainable and lasting changes in their lives.
Since we launched in 2017, we have been fortunate enough to open a second grab and go coffee shop in bustling Selly Park, Birmingham. We couldn’t have predicted the speed at which we have grown but one thing’s for sure the long nights, early mornings and hard work of everyone involved is always worth it.
Whilst supporting local young people is still at the core of Evolve, we’ve learnt that the impact we have on the wider community needs to be just as positive. We are passionate about using products in our cafes that have a strong social mission, we use our events space to host quarterly free events for the most vulnerable groups in society and our pay it forward scheme distributes coffees to local homeless people.
We are so proud of the work we’ve done so far but our story doesn’t end here. With plans in place to develop and expand, the evolution is only beginning!
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Evolve is branch of the charity Aquarius. Aquarius is the operating name of Aquarius Action Projects, a company limited by guarantee registered in England, No: 2427100, and a registered charity, No, 1014305.
Registered office: 236 Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7SL. Aquarius is part of the Recovery Focus Group, inspiring recovery together.