Tag Archive | gifts

Gifts that Give Back: 2014’s Social Enterprise Holiday Shopping Guide

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
and Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

See bottom of page for photo credits.

See bottom of post for photo credits.

It’s the height of the holiday season, and we’re excited to release our second annual social enterprise holiday shopping guide! As we did last year, we once again encourage you to give gifts that give back by shopping at social enterprises that help chronically unemployed Americans get back to work.  We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families—and so do the social enterprises featured in this shopping guide.  While these innovative and diverse social enterprises sell products ranging from gourmet pet treats to original works of art to urban honey (we guarantee you can find something for everyone with this list!), they all use their sales revenue to fund their job training programs for people with barriers to employment. Take a look, share this list with friends, and find fabulous gifts while helping to open doors to work this holiday season!

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A Social Enterprise Helps Lift Young Moms out of Poverty

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN


In honor of Mother’s Day, the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN) recently caught up with Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise that’s hard at work selling first-rate candles and bath products and changing young mothers’ lives. Bright Endeavors is a part of New Moms, Inc., a Chicago-based social service agency that helps adolescent mothers experiencing or at risk of homelessness move toward economic independence.  Employment is an essential part of this formula.

Through transitional jobs at Bright Endeavors, young women develop critical skills such as teamwork, leadership, and conflict management while working for a real business that is supported by sales revenue.  John Guido, Bright Endeavors’ Manager of Sales and Business Development, agrees that offering employment training in a social enterprise setting raises the stakes for staff and participants, but he’s confident Bright Endeavors’ young moms are on-track to succeed.  “Our participants continually amaze all of us at Bright Endeavors,” says John. “The steps they’re taking to improve their futures speak to the strength of the human spirit.”  Read on to learn more about this mom-friendly (and eco-friendly!) social enterprise that’s dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk young women and their children.

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Gifts That Keep On Giving: A Social Enterprise Holiday Shopping List

By Caitlin Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN
and Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, NTJN


It’s the giving season, and this winter you can give your friends and family fabulous gifts while also giving back to organizations that work year-round to put chronically unemployed Americans back to work!  As your holiday shopping “wraps” up (or, just gets started…), the NTJN urges you to consider buying from the social enterprises highlighted below.  These social enterprises, all 2013 NTJN members, believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families. Revenue from their product sales helps to fund their employment and job training programs for people with barriers to employment.  This holiday season, we hope you’ll join us in getting America back to work by snagging some great gifts at these social enterprises! Read More…