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Author Marks, Jonathan, active 2018, author

Title Brownies & Downies : coffee, culture and community: a social innovation that supports the intellectually disabled / Jonathan Marks, (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa), and Karen Hidden, (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Published Bingley, U.K. : Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018
Online access available from:
Emerald Emerging Markets    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (5 pages) : 15 illustrations
Series Emerald emerging markets case studies, 2045-0621 ; volume 8, issue 1
Summary This paper, The Brownies and Downies case study, aims to examine a social enterprise that provides employment, training and job placements for people with intellectual disability within a trendy artisanal coffee shop in Cape Town, South Africa. The business is based on a similar establishment (same name) in The Netherlands and was brought to Cape Town by Wendy Vermeulen, a Dutch national who completed a social development internship in Cape Town. The case is located within the field of social enterprise with a particular focus on the tension between purpose and profit and the pressure and challenges of replication, growth and scale/expansion. The protagonist in the case is Wade Schultz, Wendy's business partner, who is grappling with how to not only remain true to the social purpose of the business but also turn a profit in the pressured and competitive coffee industry. He is further challenged by deciding whether to expand the existing training business into other sectors or seek a replication model in other South African cities as a means of growing revenue and increasing the social impact
Notes The key learning from this case study are as follows: First, intellectual disability is a hidden form of disability, often misunderstood and subject to prejudice and discriminatory hiring practices. Intellectual disability exists on a scale - some individuals are able to work outside of pretexted or sheltered workspaces. Greater effort is required within open workplaces to sensitive staff to working with/alongside intellectually disabled people. This case illustrates a social enterprise model that seeks to bridge the gap between sheltered workspaces and open workspaces. Second, most social enterprises grapple with the tension between profit and purpose; this case presents a company that is living this dilemma. The importance of remaining true to purpose needs to be balanced carefully against becoming economically self-sufficient; however, the pursuit of profits should not happen at the cost of social mission. Alternate business models are a mechanism to building revenue to support the social objective
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Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Audience Graduate level
Subject People with mental disabilities -- Employment -- South Africa -- Cape Town
Social Science, People with Disabilities.
Care of the mentally ill.
Genre/Form Case studies.
Form Electronic book
Author Hidden, Karen, author
Other Titles Brownies and Downies : coffee, culture and community: a social innovation that supports the intellectually disabled