Who is the founder?
Basically, just someone like you who wants to help and try to make a difference. This is the founder’s introduction:
“I am Andrew, a bit of a country bumpkin at heart (yes, I even have a whippet at home in Yorkshire), and was lured to good old Manchester with work. Having initially wanted to study art I for some odd reason persuaded myself to study law and German.
“I then entered the professional world believing that I could make a difference; although I was very disappointed and for a long time I sought a more hands-on approach to helping people. Whilst sorting donated goods during voluntary work with a charity I had a light bulb moment and Adopt A Mensch was born. So out went the day job with unpredictable hours and in came a 9-5 job to pay the bills and give me the extra time to create this enterprise.
“No grants or other funding were involved – just money from my own pocket along with strong belief and vision. Not forgetting lots of perseverance and hard work.
“Thank you for your time in coming across my idea; I hope it can be of service to you.”
How was Adopt A Mensch born?
From walking the streets and seeing the growing number of homeless and thinking ‘I want to help but don’t know how’. I appreciated the current modes of donations and wanted to develop a more innovative process. This is as a reaction to the usual time and effort taken in looking for, buying and then giving goods to a charity or giving money directly to the homeless person and wondering what it is actually going to be spent on. The initial question was: how can someone assist to create a responsible sense of community in a highly streamlined way?
Why the name “Adopt A Mensch”?
Translated, “Mensch” is a Germanic word meaning human being. I would think most of us agree that a person does not deserve to be living on the streets and needs help where possible. Life’s lottery just wasn’t in their favour; but they are still human. Like us.
Adopt A Mensch therefore emphasises that the intention is to help the person. The goods that are provided are based on what dedicated charities know the homeless need on a regular basis, therefore avoiding wastage. This is lean process management in action.
How do we know what is happening ?
A regular newsletter shall provide regular updates, so don’t you worry.
What is a social enterprise?
Have you ever bought the Big Issue and read it over a bar of Divine chocolate with a cup of Cafe Direct coffee?
Well, then you already know a bit about social enterprises: businesses that are changing the world for the better. Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets and trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest at least 50% of their profits back into the business or the local community. And so when they profit, society profits.
Social enterprises operate in a range of industries, from Cafedirect being the UK’s largest Fairtrade hot drinks company to The Elvis & Kresse Organisation taking industrial waste materials, turning them into stylish luggage and hand bags and donating 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity.
Adopt A Mensch is on a mission to provide the homeless with their essentials. This is whilst rewarding those who donate by reducing costs and hassle, as well as reinvesting profits in the cause in line with social enterprise obligations like the above examples. This is beneficial to everyone involved.
Why was the formation of social enterprise chosen?
Being charitable is different to being a charity. It is not sound to be a business masking itself as a charity in order to gain the various financial benefits to which a charity is entitled.
The social enterprise is very much a hybrid between a company and a charity.
It’s not the usual company though as it reinvests half of its profits. The founder is not only under the obligation to adhere to the strict liabilities as the director of a limited company, but must also give money back to the cause. Why do this? Well, it’s nice to give back; it feels good doing good. Reinvesting also gives flexibility in a company’s offering. This can go beyond a care package, it can assist homeless people in many other areas.
How do the homeless benefit from the non-reinvestable profit? The private shares of a social enterprise keep the opportunity open for private equity investment and amongst the varied strategies that may be implemented the most effective one would be the ability to take advantage of economy of scales (gaining goods at an even lower price so giving more room to provide more to the homeless). So, your money would be able to do more.
Well-run profit-making infrastructures that have socialistic goals are the way forward. Looking back in history, imagine if businesses had maintained a greater balance between profit and giving. The gap between exorbitant wealth and poverty would likely be much smaller, so less of each and more of the middle ground. There are too many people that should be in the middle ground that have sadly fallen into poverty.
Why give to Adopt A Mensch?
The following are just a few good reasons:
- Goods are based on the needs of the homeless, which reduces unnecessary wastage
- Provided goods are much cheaper than retail prices, so you are saving money
- The design of the business model means that it cannot unnecessarily hoard money that should be used on buying goods because the output of goods is entirely proportional to the input of donations
What is the future of Adopt A Mensch?
It is clear that people in need require attention in many ways and our initial offering is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s just say that with your assistance the sky is the limit.