1. To help inclusive employers attract disabled candidates and gain the benefits of a more diverse workforce
2. To help disabled job seekers find work with employers who will value their skills, and
3. To promote the benefits of employing disabled people.
Like any other organisation, a social enterprise has to be financially sustainable, which means its income has to at least cover all of its running costs. In addition there are many other things we would like to do at Evenbreak – produce a range of awareness-raising videos, of people with all different kinds of impairments doing a wide range of different jobs to challenge the stereotypes about what disabled people can and can’t do, and hold conferences and events to promote the benefits of employing disabled people and share good practice amongst employers. All of this costs money, of course.
I am constantly reminded that registered charities have much greater access to funding bodies than any other not-for-profit organisations. Yesterday I called thirty funding bodies to confirm their eligibility crieteria. 26 said they would only support registered charities. So what’s the problem? Evenbreak is already a not-for-profit company (limited by guarantee) – any surplus income will benefit disabled job seekers, not shareholders or owners. And look at all those extra funds we might be able to access! Why not just register with the Charities Commission?
However, I refuse to make Evenbreak a charity. Why? For the simple reason that an employer hiring a talented disabled person is not an act of charity – it is a sensible business decision. Hiring our candidates helps the business (see previous blogs) – they are not doing the candidate a favour, they are employing the best person for the job. Our candidates are prime candidates – they have a wealth of experience and talent to bring with them – they are not recipients of charity (or worse “charity cases”), they are talented people with much to offer.
I realise taking this stance has a financial cost. Its not the only principle that does so! We also refuse to take adverts from employers who we don’t believe are genuine about wanting to employ a more diverse workforce. That’s just setting our candidates up to fail, and I won’t do that. Neither will we broker deals offering “half-price” adverts to attract more clients. Again, our candidates are worth more than that. “Selling” access to them for half price is an insult, and undermines all the messages we are trying to promote about the business benefits of employing disabled people.
Evenbreak may never have access to the funds that registered charities have, or use the marketing tactics that our competitors in the private sector use, but we will be faithful to our social aims, and always put our customers (disabled jobseekers) and our clients (genunely inclusive employers) first. And yes, that costs money and limits opportunities. But some principles and ethics aren’t negotiable. Evenbreak will get there – it might take longer and the financial cost is high, but we will have remained true to our values.
To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/
To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs/
To make a donation to Evenbreak go here – https://localgiving.com/charity/evenbreak