Business Enterprises

One of the most difficult challenges we have faced is finding our clients sustainable employment. Often their problems or addictions are too severe for them to hold down regular employment and end up in a debilitating spiral of dead-end jobs. Our Business Enterprise Unit (CBE), which we piloted in November 2013, is a multi-dimensional project that provides the opportunity of training in employability and business acumen. The Enterprise is based around an e-shop in which we identify products that sell successfully using the eBay model. Goods are sourced from local businesses which help, by donating excess stock or by supplying them at minimal cost. The initial products have been Union Jack flags, candles and jewellery, and the scope for adding other items is vast. A pilot trial lasting 6 months has shown that sales went well with over 4,000 items having been sold, and a positive feedback score of 100% was established and maintained. The CBE allows the boys to receive practical training in online selling, researching items, the packaging and the dispatch of the items, as well as a grounding in customer services. Most importantly, our clients derive enormous satisfaction from running their own businesses as this gives them a sense of achievement and acts as a positive drug to combat the negative influences in their lives. We have 5 of our clients currently engaged in this programme with many more wishing to join. We are working on raising funds to enable us to expand this unit so as to offer this valuable opportunity to more of our clients.

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