Becoming a Social Enterprise
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
Ethical Waste Services is a small waste removal company in the Lower Mainland but, oh so much more than that. We are a social enterprise. We believe in green. We believe that people are more important than profits. And we practice what we preach.
As a troubled teen I found myself lost and confused in a stream of drugs. I was fortunate enough to have parents that supported me in any way they could, because of them, I was able to pull myself out of the hole I had dug. I believe that if more youth had the support system that I had, there would be less at-risk youth in the world.
As an adult, I knew I wanted to help youth and decided that teaching was the best way to achieve my goal. After an 11-year journey, I received my Bachelors of Education and Teaching Certificate from SFU. As they say, timing is everything. Teachers were on strike and it was next to impossible to find a job. At the time, I was working on my drywall business and complaining about the companies that bring in tons of money with no give back. That’s when I had my epiphany. I could turn my company into a social enterprise.
The next step was to find the right organization. The charity needed to meet the following criteria:
- Grassroots organization
- Helped youth
- Received no government funding
- Opportunity to personally work with youth
- Opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors
I came across an article in the paper, about ACCESS Youth and their bus that drives to where youth are in the Tri-Cities. After meeting with Jerome Bouvier, Director of ACCESS and taking a ride on the bus, I understood the impact that this program has on the youth in the Tri-Cities community.
We need to pass on the message that people are more important than profits and it’s our responsibility as a community to look after one another. My hope is to encourage other businesses to follow my business model and to donate a portion of their profits at the end of the year.
We donate 50% of our profits to local not-for-profit ACCESS Youth Outreach Services (http://www.accessyouth.org/). Our goal for 2015 is to donate $17,000. Help us, help them. Book Ethical Waste Services to remove your waste, drywall and asbestos.