UTS partners with Wayside to gain social enterprise insights
Researchers will follow the Wayside Chapel as it establishes a social enterprise to provide support and job skills for homeless youth, with the aim of contributing to a road map for other not-for-profit organisations.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will collaborate with Wayside Chapel to research the establishment and impact of its new social enterprise, the Heart Café in Bondi, which will provide vulnerable and disadvantaged youth with opportunities for paid traineeships and a pathway to employment.
Dr Danielle Logue, Associate Professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management at UTS Business School, says the research partnership will provide key insights into the management, social benefits and economic sustainability of the pilot venture.
“Wayside Chapel is looking to take a different approach to the delivery of their youth support program from the traditional not-for-profit model. The social enterprise model will integrate youth support, employment and training opportunities into the operation of the café,” says Associate Professor Logue, part of the UTS team with Dr Gillian McAllister and Dr Melissa Edwards.
“As researchers, we are often asked to come in at the end of a project and measure the impact, so it will be great to be there from the very beginning to analyse how things progress, and to use the data, as well as existing research, to continuously refine and improve the program” says Dr McAllister.
The Heart Café opened on November 15, and aims to provide the Bondi Beach community with not only a great café experience but also the opportunity help disadvantaged youth. The café is open daily from 7am to 4pm.
“This ambitious and innovative social enterprise venture will provide an opportunity for paid traineeships to youth at risk over a 12-month period through Wayside’s youth program, called The Wingspan Project,” says Jon Owen, CEO and Pastor of Wayside Chapel.
“Trainees will work alongside skilled hospitality professionals while being supported by a team of youth workers to develop the necessary personal and technical skills to flourish so that by the end of the program they will be able to excel in further education or employment.”
Wayside Chapel has provided care and support for people on and around the streets of Sydney since 1964. Its mission is to create a community where there is no ‘us and them’ and provide a safe place where people from all walks of life are welcome.
The research project aims to not only help Wayside Chapel achieve its existing social mission, but also explore how to scale-up and enhance capacity to achieve social change in other sectors.
The project includes a specialist Impact Measurement Workshop delivered to staff and stakeholders in collaboration with Professor Paul Flatau and the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia.
“Creating a social enterprise that complements the culture and enhances the social impact of a long-standing and well-respected not-for-profit organisation adds an extra layer of complexity. It requires different organisation and governance structures, different skills and objectives, resources, practices and policies,” says Dr Edwards.
“This research partnership will create new knowledge in the area of social impact measurement and the implementation of the social enterprise model, as well as providing a case study for other not-for-profit organisations,” she says.