New Perspectives series: A spotlight on our guest from Love Welcomes
We are excited to kick off our New Perspectives series with a case for Enterprise-led development. It is an opportunity to learn about how a new approach could benefit your organisation. At Ethical Goods we know there are many ways to approach funding your project, and we believe that more of the non-profit sector could benefit from an enterprise-led approach.
Our first event is a webinar on the 7th December at 12pm where we will be speaking with Abi Hewitt, CEO and founder of Love Welcomes. Her organisation is an inspiring example of enterprise-led development in action. Register here for our event.
Love Welcomes was founded in 2017 in direct response to the refugee crisis. The initial idea had sustainability at its core; the team planned to empower refugee women to weave welcome mats from unusable blankets and life vests, worn on the journey to Greece, as a way for women in the refugee camps to generate income for themselves and use materials that would otherwise go to landfill. This successfully created a sense of community and purpose in the camps, whilst also raising vital funds to support those staying there.
Now Love Welcomes have been able to start enterprise-led initiatives in camps outside of Greece. These ventures have been instrumental in supporting refugee communities, by focussing on refugee women. As women typically are supporting up to four other people, they can have a greater impact by providing them with employment opportunities, a fair wage as well as training and development.
Whilst in Greece, Love Welcomes employed 148 women to support funding for essential items and services in the camp. For example, 17000 seats on buses to Athens were made available for those staying in the Ritsona camp, which meant that people had access to lawyers, food markets and other supplies. The enterprise-led approach had its own ideological impact, as18 microbusinesses were then able to launch inside the camp due to access to the food markets. This impact was not pre-planned but undoubtedly empowered the people in the camps and improved their quality of life.
Love Welcomes are committed to supporting the international community. Previously they had five artisans in Palestine where their incredible work paid towards a hospital in Gaza shortly after the invasion happened. Now Love Welcomes has a team of artisans from a refugee background working and learning creative skills in London. It is central to their mission that their supporters can buy items to show tangible support for people rebuilding their lives.
The team are continually expanding their skills to add new products and the proceeds from the sales pay the women a salary, and pay for language lessons, computer skills and financial literacy lessons. The enterprise-led approach allows Love Welcomes to support individuals in more ways than one, through employment and through the funds raised. Their story is truly inspiring.
If you are interested in learning more about Abi’s story and would like to define what enterprise-led development means within the context of your organisation then please join us on the 7th December at 12pm.
We hope to see you there!