The social enterprise taking steps towards becoming world's first chain of sustainable enterprise cafés
A first successful Enterprise Café has been opened successfully in Siem Reap, Cambodia by Footprint Cafés, a new chain of sustainable enterprise cafés that will re-invest 100% of net profits into local communities.
As founder of Footprint Cafés, Georgina Hemmingway's idea is to harness the spending power of tourism for the benefit of local communities. The vision is to establish global network of Enterprise Cafés that pays forward all profits as grants for local educational programs and social enterprises as well as contributing to the establishment of new cafés in countries across the developing world.
Footprint is a triple bottom line social enterprise, meaning it judges its success on 'People, Planet and Profit’. As well as donating its profits as grants, Footprint aims to provide its teams with the best of employment practices and strives to look after the planet. Footprint customers can not only expect a superior café experience but can also be sure that their visit is having a positive impact on the local community.
The new Enterprise Café in Siem Reap, is now open with a team of 14 and is on track to become profitable within its first 3 months of operation. Profits from the café will be used to provide grants for the local community, to employ a local team and to help fund the roll-out of a wave of cafés in Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam.
Dr Darrin M. Disley, Trustee of Footprint Cafés, has today pledged a further $150,000 to the initiative, bringing his total contribution to $300,000. Darrin is a champion of social enterprise in the Cambridge, UK community and a key figure within ethical entrepreneurship, having received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion earlier this year. Darrin has boosted Footprint Café’s non-profit’s reserves considerably, thus enabling the opening of three to four additional enterprises in 2017/18. This will be followed by a onetime fundraise of $1.5 million to build 25 cafes, which will enable a fully sustainable global expansion model of five new cafes per year funded through established café profits. This will allow the enterprise to focus on establishing itself in every corner of the world and aims to become the brand-of-choice for ethically motivated tourists.
A key element of establishing the model is holding book drives aligned to the launch of each Enterprise Café. In June 2016, book donations from Astra Zeneca plc, Medimmune Ltd, Horizon Discovery Group plc, Cambridge University, Cambridge News as well as numerous organisations including SMEs, UK schools, charities and authors yielded 9,000 books, pushing Footprint Cafés beyond their target of 8,000. Of those, 4,000 were children's books which will be donated to local organisations providing access to free quality education for impoverished children in Siem Reap. 1,000 were reference books which will be used to give university students in Siem Reap free access to a reference library and the final 4,000 fiction books will be sold in the café to generate $20,000 to $30,000 worth of funds that will further support the award of grants.
Benefitting from 15 years of experience working on brands such as Costa, Pizza Hut and Premier Inn, Footprint Cafés also announces the appointment of Mags Dixon as Chief Marketing Officer. Margaret’s wealth of knowledge of brand make her an invaluable asset in creating the world’s first chain of sustainable enterprise cafés.
"Following the launch of the first Footprint Café we are rapidly becoming a 'go-to’ hub for tourists wanting a quality coffee, reading or dining experience. In addition, we are becoming deeply connected to local community organisers and NGOs building our brand as a business on a mission to pay-it-forward. I am excited about the local impact we will have for years to come. This is set to continue as we expand the model next into either Vientiane or Luang Prabang in Laos, where we hope to enrich the lives of the local community and give ethically-motivated tourists a taste of local culture to the benefit rather than the detriment of the local people."
Dr Darrin M. Disley, Trustee of Footprints Cafés, added: "To be involved in this impacting project that uses the power of global tourism to drive sustainability and social mobility one community at a time is of real importance to me. My financial pledge is a sign of my belief in the project, its business model and helps to put Footprint Cafés in a good position to roll-out our first wave of Enterprise Café's and then reach our scale up funding target of $1.5 million. With the help of this initial funding and experience of senior team members, such as Mags for marketing the enterprise, we can transition into a self-sustained funding model which will ensure that the chain can continue to expand exponentially funded entirely on the back of its success in other areas of the globe."
The above article first published on blueandgreentomorrow.com in Dec, 2016.