A - DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE
A1 - Title in original language
Работилница за сапуни HOPe Soap
A2 - Title in English
The micro social enterprise “HOPe Soap" provides employment for young people who have left institutions for children deprived of parental care and are placed in family-type housing. After adequate training the youngsters produce and sell handmade soaps and in such way contribute to their own subsistence. The main effect is the provision of employment and incomes for young people raised in orphanages and thus the social enterprise helps them to build skills for an independent life.
A3 - Location of GP (national)
A4 - Location of GP (regional)
A5 - Economic field of activity
A6 - Ultimate purpose of GP
To create or conserve employment
To improve social cohesion/inclusion
To practically facilitate or enable social enterpreneurship
A7 - Spatial scale
A8a - Start date
A8b - Anticipated end date (if applicable)
A9 - Short description of the GP
A micro enterprise for handmade soaps
A10 - Key words relating to the GP
A11 - Objectives of the GP
Establish an integrated approach for provision of social services and development of social and employment skills for disadvantaged young people from social institutions.
A12 - Activities that have taken place
Handmade soaps. Soaps are made from a base ready to be melted, flavors, colors, etc.. and added and then poured into special molds. After cooling, soaps are packaged and are ready for commercial distribution for corporate events, weddings, etc.
A13 - Achievements of the GP
Young people with little chances for labour market integration and social inclusion receive opportunities for income-generating activities, respectively to earn their own income. Furthermore, there is potential to expand production & hire more people from the same social background.
B - IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND ECONOMY
B1 - How has the GP impacted on the following?
B1a - Legal/financial exclusion
Very positive impacts
Provides young people the opportunity to work with dignity and to receive remuneration for their work. Young people acquire skills working in a safe environment.
B1b - Creation or conservation of local employment
Very positive impacts
Create employment in a protected environment. Young people have the opportunity to participate in the process. The activity takes place at the territory of the provided housing which guarantees flexibility throughout the process.
B1c - Adaptation to new realities
Very positive impacts
The adaptation follows two directions: 1) young people adjust to employment; 2) an experimental social enterprise is developed
B1d - Cross sectoral working
Impacts not known
B1e - Enablement of social enterpreneurship
Very positive impacts
This micro social enterprise verifies opportunities for social enterpreneurship and allows lessons for future activities to be derived.
B1f - Amenities for local people
Creates an opportunity for local employment, close to the community, there is no need to use transport, can work flexible hours.
B1g - Educational opportunities
The young people acquire skills for employment.
B1h - Crisis response
B1i - Local financial environment for social enterpreneurs
Very positive impacts
This is the first social enterprise in the region and one of the few in the country. It provides a model for the development of other social enterprises.
B1j - Local policy environment for social enterpreneurs
It creates a positive image of the entire social service and helps to promote social enterprise model.
B1k - National financial environment for social enterpreneurs
The social enterprise is not able to generate a large income, but it can be used as a means to support financing of services and to create skills of unprivileged people and groups and others.
B1l - National policy environment for social enterpreneurs
It creates a positive image of the entire social service and provides a model for the development of other social enterprises.
C - PARTNERSHIPS & GOVERNANCE
C1 - Is the governance of this GP fully inclusive?
Beneficiaries have a little involvement in governance
Currently, the social enterprise is at the stage of preparing young people who will gradually take responsibility for management and organisation. The aim is to reach a stage where social enterprise can be managed and organised entirely by the young people involved in the "Sheltered Housing"
C2 - How influential has this GP been on local or national decision makers?
No influence achieved
C3 - How much partnership work has been involved?
A little cross sectoral partnership working.
D - PR & TRANSFERABILITY
Would this programme work well in another European context?
The project is seeking funding and popularity on various projects, hence there is scope for further funding and raise awareness among the public, businesses and NGOs.
Communication of experience and success to the public
Currently primarily through project application and promoting the practice at different forums at municipal and national levels.
Communication with local/national decision makers
There are no obstacles to this practice being transferred through political boundaries. Subject to local laws for doing business it can be carried out in many places.
E - RESOURCES AND SUSTAINABILITY
E1a - Total annual income of GP 2011/12
NA. In 2012 the income from soaps' sales was 900 Euro
E1b - How is this made up?
E1c - Details of human resources
1 coordinator and 3 workers
E1d - Details of technology
Handmade soaps: a ready-made soap base is used; it is melted, flavorings, colorants, etc. are added and poured into various molds. After cooling soaps are packaged and ready for distribution into commerce. There are details connected with the provision of the required level of hygiene.
E1e - Details of financial investment for start-up/early stage
Initial investment by the Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion (FSCI), including 300 BG leva initial investment for the purchase of materials.
E1f - Details of external support
The original idea was developed by a students' NGO based in the UK. After selecting the subject of activity two-day workshop was organized, including:
a) technological process of production of soaps;
b) first steps to develop a small business;
c) marketing of products.
E2 - If public funding were withdrawn, could the GP continue to exist?
At this stage the project does not earn enough own revenues, but there is a future potential for that.
Strengths, weaknesses, difficulties and lessons learned
a market product that can potentially provide support and expansion is specified; highly vulnerable young people get the opportunity for income-generating activities
weaknesses & difficulties
to integrate the production into the existing markets; difficulties in identifying specific market niche and targeting the manufactured product thereof; limited sustainability and expansion;
lessons learned: initial organizational and financial resources are required; market actors (retail networks) accept with difficulties products with such background; relatively high management skills and a lot of efforts are necessary to get to the consumers; a preliminary marketing & a plan for marketing are essential.
F - EXECUTIVE BODY AND CONTACT INFORMATION
F1 - Who set up the GP?
F2 - Who runs the GP?
Individual or group of individuals
F3 - Short description/comments
FSCI in partnership with different public and private bodies tries to break the cycle of poverty and social isolation. Its main project is House of Opportunity Programme: a network of family-type houses for young people who leave specialized institutions for children deprived of parental care. Each house in the programme offers young people 2 years of residential care and support. The Hope Soap initiative is placed in one of these houses. It is a micro social enterprise where young people living in “Home Opportunity” make handmade soaps for the market. In 2012, HOPe Soap received first prize in the "Best Business Plan of NGOs in Bulgaria", organized for the second consecutive year by the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
F4 - Contact
Organisation Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion
Address Sofia, "Neofit Rilski" str. N 2, 2nd floor, ap. 6
Telephone +359 878 613 858
Any other contact people
Teodora Koleva, Executive Director of FSCI
G - SUPPORTING INFORMATION
G1 - Photos (between 1 & 3)
Дом Възможност – с. Скравена /права: (CC) Фондация за социална промяна и включване/
Home Opportunity - Skravena village / rights: (CC) Foundation for Social Change and inclusion /
Дом Възможност – с. Скравена /права: (CC) Фондация за социална промяна и включване/ Home Opportunity - Skravena village / rights: (CC) Foundation for Social Change and inclusion
Готовата продукция /права: (CC) Фондация за социална промяна и включване/ Ready production / rights: (CC) Foundation for Social Change and inclusion
G2 - E documents
Hope Soap leaflet
G3 - Any other useful information