Cesvi implements social enterprises and business in developing countries in order to combat deep poverty and social exclusion affecting local people. Social business needs to be adapted to local political and legal frameworks as well as to the social, cultural, and economic conditions of the target population.
In Peru, from 2004 to 2007, Cesvi has promoted two social businesses: Yoper and Mystica in the framework of the project “For a Worthy Life” aimed at improving the quality of life and human development of teenagers and young people living in three areas of Lima (San Juan de Miraflores, Villa El Salvador and Villa Maria del Triunfo) and suffering sexual exploitation. Similarly, Cesvi carried out the social enterprise Artytex in the period from 2006 to 2008 in order to promote the social inclusion of young people having suffered or likely to suffer sexual exploitation. Mystica stopped its activity in September 2008.
Case studies: 1. Yoper case >> .pdf format
2. Artitex case >> .pdf format
Lesson learned. In all of the three social enterprises, Cesvi has played a key role not only in conceiving the idea of implementing a social business and in fostering its accomplishment, but also in arranging and enforcing strategies, management systems and trade relationships. Every enterprise has been incubated in the framework of a specific project pursuing the social integration of young people facing poverty and heavy social disadvantages (such as those stemming from sexual exploitation) also by means of job training. So they have been conceived as a tool fostering the accomplishment of the social programs carried out, by offering training-on-job and employment opportunities to a number of beneficiaries as large as possible. In fact, Cesvi’s aim is to allow target people, once completed the social integration program and achieved a suitable professional experience, to find a job in private businesses or even become entrepreneurs. This implies that social assistance and job training are continuously needed by beneficiaries so that a lower workforce productivity is likely to be achieved.
In such a context, Cesvi is expected to focus on crucial issues related to the social dimension while strategic and management issues should be dealt with by another operator having knowledge, skills and experience typical of business.
For more information about Yoper and Artitex: www.yoper.org.pe
Based on previous experiences where individual entrepreneurs provided external support, Cesvi is now developing in Brazil a new model of co-governance of his social business initiatives, where private companies are directly involved in the business in order to improve the economic and social sustainability.
In July 2009, after several months of negotiations, Cesvi has signed an agreement with the owner of Adoratto Restaurant, a private business located in Recife with more than 3 years of relevant pratice in Social Responsibility (50% of Adoratto’s workers are disadvantaged people coming from Casa de Passagem, a Brazilian NGO and Cesvi’s partner). The two years agreement consists in a social venture capital investment, where Cesvi is financing the expansion of the existing business and Adoratto is delivering social returns, in terms of training and employment of excluded people. So far, 4 workers coming from professional training courses implemented by Cesvi and Casa de Passagem, have been employed in the restaurant. This “one-to-one” model is considered to be able to easily allow both management efficiency and profit distribution in favor of social benefit.