The place for (entrepeneurial) women is…… in the kitchen!?

The place for (entrepeneurial) women is…… in the kitchen!?

Social Enterprising is quickly becoming a buzz word and I have written about it before. One of the most recent trends however is how quickly food and drink focussed social enterprises are growing and disrupting the whole eating and drinking arena (be it cafes, catering, restaurants or food related businesses and shops).

What’s more, while they are definitely not the prerogative of women see for example the Brigade Bar and Kitchen in London driven by Chef Simon Boyle

Social enterprises with women firmly in the kitchen are becoming increasingly common!

Here are some examples:

  1. Luminary BakeryA bakery in east London that provides employability programmes for women who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence or sexual exploitation.
    They also provide fabulous bread products and cakes !
  2. MissMacaroon
    Is a social enterprise business that combines the founder’s passion for premium quality food – born from her training as a high-end pastry chef at University College Birmingham -and her work in Michelin starred restaurant Purnell’s in Birmingham. MissMacaroons provides opportunities for long term unemployed young people seeking a career and a way to build confidence in themselves
  3. Mazí Masan award-winning social enterprise that provides training and employment to help women build careers in the food industry. The chefs are from migrant and refugee backgrounds as diverse as the city we call home, and bring decades of culinary experience to the multi-ethnic and multi-talented team.
  4. Harry SpectersMona, Shaz and their son Ash, who has autism, are behind this social enterprise which craft delicious chocolates whilst creating employment opportunities for young people with autism. They are involved in every aspect of the business – from making and packaging the products to administration, design and photography. The chocolates have won numerous taste awards and hundreds of young people with autism have a brighter future.
  5. Syrian KitchenA collective of 5 Syrian women living in north London set up this supper club and catering business in 2017 as a way to recreate the feeling and flavours of their home country.

So next time you visits the city or indeed the UK think about how your eating and drinking choices may positively impact the life of others in the community!
Bon Appétit !

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Alessandra is founder of social enterprise Women in Travel CIC which she launched in January 2017 to provide communities in key regions (for example UK, Middle East, Africa and Latin America) with a sustainable livelihood by enabling women to become economically independent through entrepreneurship and a thriving career in the travel and tourism industry. Alessandra is also Chief Mentor & Consultant at Everyday Mentor, where she provides mentoring, coaching and consulting services to a range of clients in the commercial and public sector. Alessandra also collaborates with a number of Universities, including Hertfordshire, Normandy and Surrey. Alessandra is passionate about gender in tourism and has written and spoken extensively on the subject over the last 12 years, including at the United Nations World Tourism Day. She is well known as co-founder of Shine People and Places – a boutique outfit dedicate to supporting women in the workplace - and The Shine Awards for Women Achievements in Travel Tourism Hospitality and Events, which she ran between 2004 and 2010 before Sector Skills Council People 1st took them over. Prior to Shine Alessandra worked at KPMG, where she built the Travel & Tourism division, and the World Travel and Tourism Council. Alessandra has an executive MBA from the University of Ediburgh/Grande Ecole Pons combined; she is a qualified coach/mentor for performance in the workplace and she is a member of several industry bodies including AWTE and the UK Tourism Society.

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