9 of our favourite social enterprises, founded and led by women
To continue our celebrations of international women’s day, we’d like to take the time to shine a spotlight on 9 of the most exemplary social enterprises and the inspirational women leading them.
After years of combating social injustices alongside one another, we at Pivot have seen first-hand the great things that these businesses and the women who lead them have done as well as the impact they’ve made in the effort to change the world for the better.
Certainly, they deserve all possible credit and recognition, so please enjoy this list we have curated for you and support these exceptional organisations this international women’s day!
Meg Doherty is the founding director of Fat Macy’s, a social enterprise that facilitates young Londoners experiencing homelessness in learning the cookery skills, experience, and confidence to go on to become qualified chefs, thus providing an opportunity for self-sustainability.
“Fat Macy’s is a social enterprise that uses our restaurants and events catering business to train and support Londoners living in temporary accommodation”
Sophie Slater and Sarah Beckett set up Birdsong in 2014 which aims to create sustainable women’s fashion at an affordable consumer cost, provided free of unethical business practices, such as labour exploitation and misogynistic marketing, often found within the industry.
“inspired by the skill and creativity in women’s community groups and with the shared vision of build-ing a brand that promised no sweatshops and no photoshop.”
Jess Thompson’s journey began when she asked each of her English students to share a recipe with her from their expatriate countries. It gave her the idea to run cookery classes led by migrant chefs, as a way to integrate refugees and remove the stigma around immigration faced by many.
“Our mission is to empower and celebrate our chefs on their journey to employment and independ-ence.”
The women at Leiho have created an online shop where your purchase of specific items that those sleeping rough are often in need of, directly funds the donation of hampers containing the same essential supplies to rough sleepers - check out their similar blog to learn about 7 more women-founded social projects!
“At Leiho we provide the most basic essentials to those who need it most. Access to basic essentials helps to improve self-worth, wellbeing, confidence and gives hope.”
Micaela Lindsay founded That Counts, an online gift-box distributor based from their studio in London. They provide a wide array of boxes from food to homeware and the profits from each sale go toward campaigns of social causes such as Refugee Action and Make Bank.
“Delightfully curated products that support causes & people. Because it’s more than the thought that counts.”
Bread & Roses
Olivia Head, Sneh Jani-Patel and Liv Wilson began Bread & Roses in 2016. Women from refugee backgrounds face particular threats, which this trio fight to prevent by providing training in Floristry, Business and English skills. From there these women can feel safe, empowered, and able to rebuild their lives.
“We’re Bread & Roses, an award-winning charity on a mission to help women from refugee back-grounds flourish.”
Anna Alexander and Matilda Lawrence-Jubb co-founded Split Banana in with the aim to rework and improve the current method of teaching sexual health and education into something much more practical and recognizably beneficial to all and particularly among young people.
“Split Banana delivers Relationship and Sex Education in three ways: by running creative RSE work-shops with young people, by training educators and by consulting with schools and community organi-sations on their RSE provision.”
Kali and the women of The Glasshouse social enterprise offer support and guidance in the art of horticulture to those in women’s prisons, with the aim to reduce reoffending by helping to give economic security via work to ex-offenders.
“Our mission is to reduce reoffending through horticultural training and employment. Our team of ex-offenders grow and nurture beautiful, resilient houseplants.”
More Diverse Voices
Emily Horton founded More Diverse Voices in 2021, and as a journalist she uses her skillset to guide and help companies to become more inclusive and connected to marginalised communities. She and her group help underrepresented opinions be heard through various communication networks.
“Our vision. To create a world where everyone’s voice is heard, and their stories are told in a fair and authentic way.”