Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Today is the opening. The guest list is set and there's a steady stream of coffee lovers booked throughout the day to sample the menu in our new social venture.
It's not a stand alone social enterprise like Piranha; its a venture. For me the difference is that a venture is smaller and not as exposed to the operational pressures of real world business market competitiveness.
A number of years ago I did a literature search on how adult time is used (adults with a disability). At the time, work in it's standard definition did not feature. When I filtered through all of the information I came to realise that the occupations of an adult with a disability is to be doing something. By this I mean occupying time rather than using time to engage in something productive.
Work is so much more than the money we earn. Don't get me wrong money is a fundamental part of economic participation, but when we move past this perspective, what does work mean?
To me, work brings purpose and gives a sense of meaning. If I don't turn up to work on a day, I'm missed. Not only for the things I do, but for the social connections I have. I feel like I fit in somewhere, and I contribute to something that is bigger than me. So what if this was all absent and I went off to a day program every day? My time would be occupied, but where's my sense of purpose, meaning and contribution?
Work is an important part of adult life.
Meet & Eat is a social venture. It generates financial return for goods produced and sold (great coffee and delicious snacks). The market and financial margin on this venture are irrelevant. Meaningful occupation, work ethic and pride in a job well done are the successors.