Harkiss Designs is a social enterprise, a new breed of business with a mission. Don’t confuse a social enterprise with a social networking business. While we do connect with you via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, our ultimate goals are more far reaching. As a social enterprise, Harkiss Designs seeks to use capitalism compassionately as a tool for improving the economic well-being of communities and the health of the environment.
A social enterprise competes within its market to sell products or services. However, instead of driving sales for the purpose of personal profits, it reinvests a portion of its revenue toward achieving its philanthropic goals.
At Harkiss, one of our key goals is empowering the women who handcraft our goods. We open new markets that never existed before, creating greater demand for their handcrafted goods. This encourages our artisans in East Africa to parlay the skills passed down through generations into a better economic future for their families and communities. They need no longer be dependent on others to provide for them and their children.
Social enterprises share some basic attributes. They:
Provide income so impoverished people can meet their family’s subsistence needs
- Are sustainable and do not depend on donations to continue operating
- Reinvest earned income into the communities they work with
- Are scalable and can expand to provide more benefits to more people
As the founder and CEO of Harkiss Designs, I am always seeking innovative ways to give back to the East African communities that I partner with. In 2012, I joined with Lend a Hand Uganda to help provide orphans with homes, health care and education. Since then, I have helped to created a sister organization, Lend a Hand Uganda—USA to broaden the scope of this essential charitable cause.
When you purchase a gift from our broad collection, you are empowering us help others as well.
Part 2, coming soon: Read more about compassionate capitalism.